A three-member delegation led by National Assembly Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel attended the 4th South Asian Speakers Summit on September 1-2 at Male in Maldives.
The Summit was aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and review the progress of declarations adopted in the previous three summits.
Speaker of the National Assembly, while presenting the initiatives taken by the Parliament of Bhutan in advancing SDGs in Bhutan, highlighted the institutional arrangements that were put in place to track the progress on the SDGs in Bhutan.
Addressing the Summit, Tshogpon Wangchuk Namgyel said in the South Asia-Pacific region, Bhutan is one of the early mover countries for SDG implementation.
He attributed this to the country’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which is premised on the wellbeing and happiness of the people, and which strongly resonates with the principles and objectives of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
“Bhutan has been able to align relevant targets of the SDGs with the national plans. In fact, in the current 12th Five Year Plan, we have succeeded in directly aligning and integrating all, except one of the seventeen SDGs. Further, Bhutan has presented its first Voluntary National Report in 2018,” he said.
And on the role of parliamentarians in achieving the SDGs, the Tshogpon informed that the 2030 Agenda Declaration demands the pivotal role of parliamentarians in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of SDGs through enactment of legislation, oversight and adoption of budgets.
“Given this significant mandate, the National Assembly of Bhutan accords high importance to ensure that our parliamentarians are fully sensitized on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs – its objectives, targets and indicators. Based on the Indore Declaration, the National Assembly adopted a resolution dedicating one whole day to deliberate on SDGs at every session of the Assembly. By this coming winter session, we would have discussed and passed resolutions on five Sustainable Development Goals,” the speaker added.
“Furthermore, in our institutionalization process, the SDGs have been chosen and allocated between the various Parliamentary Committees to ensure that each and every goal receives adequate attention and is implemented,” the Tshogpon said.
“At the national level, the parliament has passed a resolution for government to establish a separate SDG unit to integrate and coordinate in implementation. A Joint Parliamentary Committee has also been established to review and report to the parliament on SDG implementation. These are the national legislative and the support framework to create conducive environment in achieving the SDGs,” the Tshogpon added.
Yenten Thinley from Thimphu