By Rick Orser, Twitter: @RickOrser
The importance of engaging parliamentarians in the 2030 Agenda should not be underestimated, as their involvement is critical to the success of the sustainable development goals. Parliamentarians are after all, the people – “we the people” – elect to represent us within our governing process.
Parliamentarians vote on budgets, make laws, form and even re-form governments, they also serve on committee’s that influence and develop government policy, and the more democratic (representative of its electors) a parliament is, the greater the influence its parliamentarians can have on government.
Parliamentarians are our most effective allies for keeping governments to account – and we need their support in advocating the successful implementation of the sustainable development goals.
Parliamentarians serving at the national level for example, are the collective voice of their country’s citizens at that level, and represent all citizens of their country in its entirety, even more so than the government, especially considering that all parliamentarians within a parliament are not (usually) part of the governing party or coalition. Opposition party’s are an important part of representative and effective parliaments.
Democracy itself is evolving – locally, nationally – and …..
One of the challenges, however, is a lack of democracy (citizen representation) at the Global level….we vote and elect representatives locally, nationally and in some areas regionally, but so far not globally…. hopefully though, that will change and be made a key element for the success of the sustainable development goals.
As a member of the World Federalists Movement I am one of many who have endorsed the call for the establishment of a proposed United Nations Parliamentary Assembly which would for the first time give citizens a voice at the global level through direct representation, by enabling citizens to vote and elect parliamentarians to serve within a parliament at the global level. It is our belief that it is here, within such a World Parliament that, global problems will truly find – global solutions. The call for a UNPA has been endorsed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many other notable parliamentarians.
Hey – because its 2016 ! – The 500th anniversary of the term – “Utopia” (coined by English Parliamentarian Sir Thomas More in 1516)
We need to encourage parliamentarians to engage in dialogue and advocacy in support of the SDG’s not only at their respective local, national and regional levels, but also at the global level, and in doing so, have them also advocate for a long overdue parliament at the global level – so that their citizens will finally have representation at all levels.
As a member of Together 2030 I am happy that the Initiative is launching a new Working Group to mobilize for the engagement of Parliamentarians in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and is inviting fellow T2030 members to join. Together – we can make a difference !
Rick Orser is a member of the Vancouver branch of World Federalist Movement Canada (WFMC) which is an organization that helped develop the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) proposal. The World Federalist Movement (WFM) has been around almost as long as the UN itself and has played a pivotal role in such notable accomplishments as the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Rick is also a member of the UN Association of Canada and serves on the WFUNA TAP Network. Rick has developed a proposal (which includes a home) for a World Government supporting – security, democracy, prosperity and sustainability – for all humanity (along with a metaphor, and challenge (to represent) saving our world) which may be viewed here – Building Utopia.