Intervention by Ambassador Katalin Bogyay on the Role of Parliaments, Cities and Local Authorities in the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda at a Thematic Debate held in New York, on 10 February 2015.
Just a short while ago, last December during my parliamentary hearing before coming to the UN I had to speak in the beautiful House of Parliament in Budapest to its members. I spoke about my plans, focuses and priorities as a new Permanent Representative of my country and of course about the aims, current tasks of the UN. And I of course, introduced the Post- 2015 Development Agenda. Honestly the honorable members of the House knew or heard very little about this grandiose program. I call it grandiose because it is very ambitious, and if successful, and if we will implement it well, there is a chance for humanity to survive, because as the effects of climate change worsen, escaping poverty becomes more difficult.
In Hungary actually the Fundamental Law endorses the need to co-operate with all the peoples and countries of the world for achieving sustainable development of humanity. It also creates the obligation to protect and maintain natural resources as well as cultural assets forming the common heritage of the nation, and to preserve them for future generations.
Betty Williams, the Nobel peace prize laureate from Northern- Ireland said once to me: Peace is action, not words! The Post- 2015 agenda should be a global and coordinated action, not words! For that we need conscious, well prepared parliamentarians, politicians, real statesmen who will not only realize the long-term danger but act accordingly.
We all have to face it that the implementation of the post 2015 agenda will rest with the Member States. Furthermore, relevant policies will have to be reflected in legislation, as it is also the case in the creation enabling legal and economic environment necessary for FDI and the mobilization of other resources. The importance of the Parliament’s yearly decisions on national budget cannot be overestimated.
So truly, Mr President, it was a brilliant choice of you to discuss the role of Parliaments, cities and local authorities in the Post-2015 implementation, since the contribution of these institutions, of their leaders to the effectuation of the Agenda is indeed not only important, but without them it will remain a beautiful and abstract vision
The members of the parliaments and local authorities are representing people, and people vote for good, clear and understandable policies and effective politicians. So we UN people better start translating the abstract vision in a digestive, inspiring way not only for the politicians but the people, the voters. That is, I am for clear-cut communication, short and understandable messages, action plans using the variety of international and local media.
While the role of the Parliament is central in creating the framework, and enabling environment, much of the implementation will depend on the cities and the local authorities.
Local authorities and cities are the best placed to take into consideration the specific needs and opportunities of their communities, this is the level, where people can have the highest level of ownership and involvement.