Participation of the PABSEC International Secretariat to the IPU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Webinar “The impact of COVID-19 on SDG implementation in the UNECE region: What role for parliaments?”, 9 March 2021
Mr. Miltiadis Makrygiannis, PABSEC Deputy Secretary General, attended the webinar titled “The impact of COVID-19 on SDG implementation in the UNECE region: What role for parliaments?”, co-organized by the IPU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), on 9 March 2021.
The event’s aim was to provide parliaments and parliamentary assemblies with up-to-date information on the status of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation, as well as recommendations on how to accelerate transformative change in the region and ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies incorporate the SDG lens.
The participants had the opportunity to exchange and discuss common challenges as well as strategies that they could implement to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 despite the pandemic hurdles.
The discussions focused on the importance for parliaments to be engaged in the Voluntary National Reviews in order to monitor government actions, strengthen national ownership and build more political support for the SDGs.
As the keynote speakers pointed, the UNECE region has been hit severely by the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has quickly evolved from a public health emergency into an economic and social crisis that has exposed and deepened existing fragilities. Inequalities between and within countries have come to the forefront in health systems, social protection, digital access for all, access to education, and many other areas. As countries are now resetting their priorities and reallocating resources to deal with the pandemic, parliaments should be in a position to influence policies and budgets to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic responses and recovery strategies embrace and incorporate the SDG framework in its entirety. Thanks to their integrated and interlinked nature, the SDGs provide a roadmap that can help countries improve their preparedness to respond to the pandemic and implement recovery plans that deliver social and environmental sustainability in a comprehensive manner.