Ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wraps up

- Saturday, 16/09/2023, 20:43

The ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wrapped up in Hanoi on September 16 under the chair of  Dyah Roro Esti, member of Parliament at the House of Representatives of Indonesia and member of the Board of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU)'s Forum of Young Parliamentarians.

Ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wraps up -0
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue attends to the closure of the conference. Photo: Lam Hien

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, IPU President Duarte Pacheco, IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong, over 500 young parliamentarians and delegates from IPU member parliaments attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Esti said recently, there have been many disasters worldwide, such as earthquakes, natural disasters, wildfires, causing significant losses in terms of both human lives and property, especially in Morocco, Libya, and Vietnam.

Delegates later observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims.

Ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wraps up -0
Photo: Lam Hien

In her closing remarks, Esti said delegates had discussed various issues over the past few days such as the progress of sustainable development goals and the role of digital transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship in accelerating progress; and explored how cultural diversity could also be a driving force in achieving sustainable development goals, as well as how to responsibly harness technology to leverage its positive aspects while minimising risks.

The conference adopted a statement on the role of the youth in promoting the implementation of sustainable development goals through digital transformation and innovation. It is the first statement so far, featuring the young people's commitment to implementing the millennium development goals set by the United Nations.

Ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wraps up -0
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue delivers closure remarks. Photo: Lam Hien

In the statement, young parliamentarians expressed their concern as with less than seven years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only 12% of the SDGs are meeting the targets and over 50% of them still lagging behind.

It also emphasised that the world is witnessing a rapid development of technology, digital transformation and innovation, so it is necessary to harness these potentials to accelerate progress towards SDGs, especially for issues that important to youth.

Ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians wraps up -0
Photo: Lam Hien

The statement said important gender gaps persist as women are 26% less likely to own a mobile phone than men is unreasonable, therefore digital transformation and innovation must be opportunities that bolster gender equality by facilitating new avenues for empowerment.

“As key innovators, users and promoters of technological evolution, young people are uniquely positioned to lead in the positioning of digital transformation and innovation at the centre of action to accelerate progress in making development sustainable for the planet and accessible for the people, leaving no one behind,” it  said.
In the statement, the young MPs proposed a series of actions to help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs through digital transformation and innovation.

These include updating parliamentary rules and working methods to enable greater virtual participation of MPs.

Recommendations also include ensuring all parliamentarians are equipped with necessary knowledge and technical support, and enhance the use of virtual assistance and the development of a digital library of legal documents.

The statement also advocates adoption of laws and policies that help narrow the digital gap and ensure accessibility to all, including through low-cost access, building of digital infrastructure and skills-building as well as development of suitable legal frameworks and strengthen international cooperation to protect their respective digital sovereignty to bring about a safe, healthy network environment and sustainable development.

Regarding innovation and start-ups, the MPs suggest member parliaments to strengthen the innovation and start-up eco-system, including by developing legal frameworks for innovation and start-ups, and scaling up budgets to support to youth-led and youth-inclusive enterprises, start-ups and innovation initiatives of the youth.

They call for promoting education curricula that provide necessary skills to prepare the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on digital skillsets. Special focus should also be given to young women, including by incentivising more to study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Relating to promoting respect for cultural diversity for sustainable development, the statement calls for promoting inclusivity, intercultural dialogue, and respect for cultural diversity and local knowledge as drivers of sustainable development, prosperity and peaceful coexistence.

In his closing remarks, Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue affirmed that the success of the ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians shows that the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians is a very necessary and useful one for young parliamentarians. He emphasised the importance of young parliamentarians in particular and young people in general as the future owners of each country, nation and the whole world in participating in the realisation of the goals and tasks of the IPU and the United Nations.

Chairman Hue urged the IPU Secretariat and member parliaments to spread the results of the conference to the UN’s 2023 SDG Summit, scheduled for September 18-19 in New York, thereby honoring the role and affirming the commitment and actions of the IPU and young parliamentarians in particular to the global joint effort to accelerate the implementation of SDGs.

He also called on the IPU and its member parliaments to actively implement the conference statement and establish appropriate mechanisms to cooperate with and support each other, especially between developed and developing countries in digital transformation and innovation.

"In the era of digital transformation, in the current boom of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), no country, no matter how big, can solve problems of global scale on its own, and vice versa, smaller and poorer countries still have opportunities and can find opportunities to develop. I think that in the time of 4IR, the future is not simply an extension of the past. Developed countries can also return to their starting point. That is an opportunity and also a premise for us to cooperate," he emphasised.

On behalf of the host country of the conference, Hue thanked and appreciated the effective support and collaboration of experts and staff of the IPU and its Secretariat, member parliaments, National Assembly bodies and relevant sectors of Vietnam.

He affirmed that in every stage of development of countries, the parliaments and parliamentarians, with their noble legislation, supervisor and enforcement roles, are always the vanguards in efforts for legal and institutional reforms and international integration. They serve as a bridge between the political will and the aspirations of the people, between domestic law and international law, between people of different countries, contributing to peace, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development, both regionally and globally.

Vietnam's consistent policy is to promote a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, based on the basic principles of the UN Charter and international law. Vietnam attaches great importance to and actively and responsibly participates in multilateral institutions of which Vietnam is a member, Hue said.

"In that spirit, the National Assembly of Vietnam will continue to actively cooperate with the IPU and join hands with member parliaments to realize the goals and resolutions of the IPU in general and the Statement of this Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians, continuously promotes noble missions, and elevates parliamentary diplomacy. It affirms that it will continue to actively contribute to the general activities of the IPU and is ready to host other conferences within the framework of the IPU’s activities," the leader affirmed.

IPU President Duarte Pacheco thanked the National Assembly of Vietnam for hosting this conference, and expressed his gratitude to all the guests, panelists, and speakers who contributed to this conference.

Emphasising that after the conference, there is more work to be done, the IPU President said he believes in the even more active engagement of young parliamentarians in the IPU and its agenda, as young people have much potential, knowledge and strong commitment to promoting sustainable development for all. The participation of young parliamentarians will increase in the future.

He shared his concern about the limited results of the SDGs realisation, with only 12% of the targets met, while 15 experiencing heavy delays. In the next seven years, there are a lot to do to ensure sustainable development for humanity.

Accordingly, the IPU President suggested engaging youth in in politics and digital technologies to accelerate progress, adapt budgets to scale up support for youth led startups and enterprises, and promote science and innovation for sustainable development and enhance digital literacy for young people.

“The conference statement presented earlier provides more concrete actions that you can take home with you. It is an important guide on how to act for the SDGs. The continuation of this journey now rests in our capable hands,” he stressed.

He also pledged that the IPU is ready to support young parliamentarians in implementing their commitments at this Conference. "We cannot delay any longer. Let's try to work hard together to implement what we have committed and what we must do. We have the right to be proud of our work,” he said.

Meanwhile, Martin Chungong, Secretary General of Inter-Parliamentary Union stressed that the outcomes of the conference have surpassed expectations and it’s a continuation of success of the IPU- 132 in Hanoi in 2015./.

Nguyen Thanh Nga