Within the Week of Parliamentarism, SeConS Development Initiative Group organised a discussion on the topic of „the United Nations Agenda for sustainable development until 2030“, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Global Compact in Serbia, with the aim to point to the role of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

 Irena Vojačkova Solorano, the permanent UN coordinator in Serbia, highlighted the importance of aligning national policies with the UN 2030 Agenda. “In case there is no progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, there will be no development”, said Vojačkova Solorano. She expressed the hope that Serbia will soon join the countries which have already presented reports on which measures they undertook regarding the accomplishment of Sustainable Development Goals.

Ambassador Dragan Županjevac, coordinator of the ECOSOC of the Ministry for foreign affairs, stated that Serbia made a political and moral commitment to align its policies with this global programme, which is supposed to solve the key issues of our civilisation.

 The successful implementation of Sustainable Development Goals requires participation of all relevant actors, among which parliamentarians play a crucial role. The importance of 17 universal UN goals is also recognised by European institutions, which expressed the initiative for the new EU development strategy, which will replace the 2020 strategy after its expiration, to align with the UN 2030 Agenda. “There is a notion that the situation in the EU is on a satisfactory level when it comes to Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, setting specific goals for Europe is being considered, in order to reach higher EU standards”, said Marija Babović, SeConS Development Initiative Group programme director.

Irena Radinović, assistant manager and coordinator for digital inclusion within the Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction (SIPRU) of the Republic of Serbia government, highlighted the importance of the Parliament’s role as a control mechanism which should encourage the government to align national policies with the UN 2030 Agenda.

 Along with the State, actors who should give their contribution to the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals are the civil and corporate sector. “For us, goals concerning education and employment are a priority. Moreover, climate change is extremely important for the industry. Losses that followed the 2014 floods showed that”, noted Siniša Mitrović, the president of the working group for the promotion of Sustainable Development Goals within the Global Compact in Serbia.

 At the discussion it was concluded that the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals should be a mutual goal of all actors. “Involvement of civil society and corporate sector will only be effective if the State establishes efficient mechanisms of policies coordination in line with the accomplishment of the goals of global development UN Agenda”, concluded Babović.