Georgia is among the countries at the forefront of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. The Government has established national indicators and targets to monitor progress. The Parliament plays a crucial role in achieving the targets through its oversight of the Government’s efforts and by ensuring that the most vulnerable populations are not left behind. The Parliament has also adopted the Open Government Partnership Declaration underlining its commitment to openness, transparency and citizen engagement.
In this context, the Parliament, in collaboration with the IPU, carried out a series of self-assessment exercises on SDG implementation, gender-sensitivity and democratic performance in June in Tbilisi. The aim of these exercises was to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Parliament to deliver on gender equality and sustainable development for all its citizens. The workshops were co-organized by the IPU, the Parliament of Georgia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Government of Sweden and the Good Governance Initiative of USAID.
At the first workshop, the Parliament, using the IPU-UNDP toolkit, Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals, assessed how prepared it was for their implementation. Participants drafted a model action plan to help institutionalize the Parliament’s role in SDG implementation, focusing on areas such as strengthening oversight mechanisms to monitor SDG progress.
The second round of self-assessments were on the Parliament as a democratic institution and on gender-sensitivity for which the IPU toolkits, Evaluating parliament and Evaluating the gender sensitivity of parliaments, were used. Topics discussed included parliamentary oversight; gender equality; and the accountability, transparency and accessibility of the Parliament. Participants agreed to use the report from this round to draft the parliamentary strategy and plan of action.
On an earlier visit to the region, IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, said that “The sustainable development agenda provides parliaments with a solid platform on which to build their credibility and relevance by using their powers to make a difference in the lives of the people.” He congratulated the Parliament of Georgia on its “active engagement” with the SDGs and said that self-assessment was “a precious opportunity for the Parliament to identify its baselines and establish a framework for an action plan”.