Day one of the Ninth G20 Parliamentary Summit held in New Delhi (India) took to a positive opening with representatives from Italy, South Africa, Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, and Spain making interventions during the first session on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Showcasing Achievements and Accelerating Progress.

Addressing delegates during the first session, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson, Mr. Amos Masondo said “the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on the empowerment of women in all spheres of life”. His remarks come as the world prepares to mark International Rural Women’s Day, a United Nations-supported initiative aimed at celebrating rural women and drawing the world’s attention to the role women play in building their communities.

He said a month after the G20 leaders observed that the global progress on SDGs requires attention, parliaments need to do more given that only 12 percent of the targets are on track halfway to 2030. In their summit last month, G20 leaders recommitted their nations to achieving the SDGs by taking collective action for effective and timely implementation of the G20 2023 Action Plan to Accelerate Progress on the SDGs, including its High-Level Principles.

Chairperson Masondo said parliaments need to find effective ways of supporting commitments made by G20 leaders towards the mobilization of affordable, adequate accessible financing from all sources to support developing countries in their domestic efforts to address bottlenecks for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015. The Addis Agenda seeks to align financial flows and policies with economic, social, and environmental priorities.

“It recognizes the importance of addressing the diverse needs and challenges faced by countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States, as well as the specific challenges facing middle-income countries”, he said.

He highlighted key interventions that parliaments can make to promote parliamentary cooperation, enhance engagement between governments, parliaments, and stakeholders in the implementation of various G20 outcomes, and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“We can do so, as already agreed during the last P20 held in Jakarta in 2022, by among other things; transforming the global commitments on SDGs into national realities; and redoubling our efforts as parliaments to mobilize resources to bring the SDGs back on track”, Chairperson Masondo added.

He told delegates that South Africa stands at 64 percent in terms of the overall score which measures the total progress towards achieving all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. He did however acknowledge major challenges that South Africa faces in addressing poverty, ensuring affordable and clean energy, economic growth, and to re reduce inequality, especially as it relates to women’s empowerment.

“Our traditional role as parliaments includes the consideration of issues of national, and importance, the processing and passing of legislation, and scrutinizing and overseeing executive action”, he added.

The second session of the summit focused on Sustainable Energy Transition, while day two will close with two more sessions on Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Transformation in People’s Lives through Public Digital Platforms respectively.

Both NA Speaker and NCOP Chairperson will contribute as key speakers on both topics.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.