Beirut, 29 November 2022--To examine the role of parliaments in addressing the severe threats of climate change in the Arab region, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Arab States (UNDP) are holding the "Arab Regional Parliamentary Forum on the 2030 Agenda: Strengthening Parliamentary Engagement in Climate Action in the Arab Region" at the UN House in Beirut.
The two-day Forum, organized in the wake of COP27 in Egypt, will highlight existing and effective mechanisms for strengthening the engagement of parliaments in shaping policy frameworks, fulfilling climate-related commitments, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In his opening statement, ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Mounir Tabet stressed that the world was still not doing enough to slow the climate crisis and adapt to its consequences. “Efforts should concentrate on transitioning to an inclusive climate resilient development model that transforms climate challenges into opportunities for all and builds on the lessons learned so far,” he added.
Parliamentarians play a major role in promoting and guiding climate action, since they are well-positioned to monitor the effective implementation of climate legislation and propose, review, amend, and approve relevant bills. Furthermore, parliaments can ensure that national legislations are strengthened and aligned with international agreements related to climate action.
In a recorded message, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said that international commitments, like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, must be transposed into national legislation, supported by appropriate budget allocation and robust oversight of government performance.
To effectively achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions, Parliaments should ensure that SDGs and other climate-related goals are adequately mainstreamed into legislative processes and national policies. Those, in turn, must consider regional and sub-regional specificities and the transboundary nature of climate change impacts.
For his part, UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States Hub Director Khaled Abdel Shafi highlighted the vital role of Parliaments in monitoring the work of Governments through appropriating legislation which mitigates the negative effects of climate change to achieve the SDGs.
The proposed key messages from the parliamentary forum will be presented at the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development in 2023.
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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