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Financing Is Key For Achieving Sustainable Development Goals In Kiribati

Staff and members of Kiribati Parliament engaged in a knowledge sharing session in Tarawa, joined by their counterparts in other Pacific Island countries in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga online. (Photo: Kiribati parliament)

(Tarawa, Kiribati) – Parliamentarians have a unique opportunity and constitutional responsibility to promote and monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Staff and members of Kiribati Parliament engaged in a knowledge sharing session with their counterparts in other Pacific Island countries in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga, to enhance their role in implementing the SDGs.

The two-day knowledge sharing session that concluded today was attended by all the members of the Kiribati Parliament and parliament staff. The session was jointly hosted by the Parliament of Kiribati and UN Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government of New Zealand. It was conducted as part of a series of capacity building activities which the Members of Kiribati's Parliament and UNDP have been jointly undertaking since the new Parliament's election in 2020.

Madam Speaker of the Parliament of Kiribati Honourable Tangariki Reete opened the programme saying, “South-South knowledge exchange is an extremely effective way to learn from each other to enhance our role in SDGs implementation. This is an opportunity also to develop collaboration with different institutions and civil society at national and regional level.” She remarked that “Kiribati parliament is ready to play it’s legislative and oversight role for enhancing the implementation of SDGs”.

Underscoring the importance of SDGs, His Excellency Mr Paul Wallis, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Kiribati said, “The SDGs are the global blueprint for the development progress that we all wish to see. The SDGs expanded the global development agenda to include challenges that extend beyond national boundaries, like addressing climate change and stewardship of the world’s oceans. These issues are extremely important to Kiribati and the Pacific.”

Speaking during the workshop, Kevin Petrini, Deputy Resident Representative a.i., for UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said that financing for SDGs was key towards achieving them in time. He added that “In the 2018 Voluntarily National Review, Kiribati identified financing for SDGs as a key challenge. Here, parliament’s power of budgetary approval will be highly relevant. As parliamentarians look at budgets every year, you can see if government is planning to invest adequate resources for the SDGs. You can also investigate if the approved budgets are spent as planned and achieving desired goals.”

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 16 targets “to strengthen public institutions, including parliament. We consider that public institutions are the key enablers for implementing the SDGs. All targets under SDGs are at the heart of parliament’s legislative, oversight and representative functions.”, he added

The sessions were assisted by experts from the region, including the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UN WOMEN and UNDP.

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