Joint Parliamentary Peer Group
ICT Workshop in Zambia
A school class visiting the National Assembly of Zambia
In recent years, various economic and ecological crises have had severe negative impact on the lives of people worldwide. The consequences of those crises pose challenges that can only be addressed through sustainable, harmonized and impactful policies on international and national levels. In this regard, incoherent policies adversely affect development in, both partner countries in the global South and donor countries themselves. While in the global South, the economic and social costs of incoherent policies often affect the poorest in the country, in donor countries, incoherent policies create costly inefficiencies. Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) seeks to meet those challenges comprehensively as it addresses crucial interdependencies of various policy fields.
On December the 10th, an international panel of different experts discussed challenges and opportuniert of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development. Efforts to eradicate poverty, minimise inequalities, adhere to human rights agendas and implement sound environmental and climate strategies are directly connected with questions pertaining to policy coherence.
In a morning Rount Table as well as in an evening Panel Discussion, the discustants gave inputs and perspectives from Zambia, the European Union level, the OECD, Finland as well as from Parliament, ministries and civil society in Austria. In both events, the potentials and benefits of coherent policies for sustainable development were underlined and ways discussed on how to better exercise the responsibility to make policies more coherent for a sustainable development that benefits countries in the South and North.
Being aware of one's own voice and thus shapinig one's own future - this objective was impressively met at the Second Youth INDABA "Your SDGs - Your Voice" on November 14, 2019. The students of three school classes from Vienna and Upper Austria accepted the invitation of the present members of the Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, Hon. Nico Marchetti, Hon. Eva-Maria Holzleitner and Hon. Alma Zadić to discuss the ideas and wishes of young people with political decision-makers in parliament.
The focus were the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs. The Agenda 2030 and the SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, and in Austria, too, all federal ministries are to implement the agenda in a coherent manner. Parliament also deals with the SDGs. Within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments, SDG 4 focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting opportunities for lifelong learning for all.
In the group work, possibilities for participation in the implementation of the SDGs for each individual were discussed, but also policy requirements were formulated, as well as necessary changes for the achievement of the goals. The Youth INDABA took place in close cooperation with the Federal Youth Council, which advocates the participation of young people and their involvement in political decision-making processes. The results of the workshops were again documented in the form of graphic records and presented to the individual classes at the end of the day.
The official launch of the Educational Programme for Zambian Learners on 15 October 2019 in Lusaka was attended by a large number of pupils and teachers, members of parliament, representatives of various departments of the National Assembly of Zambia and both partner Parliaments. The Austrian Parliament was represented by the Vice-Clerk, Dr. Susanne Janistyn-Novák, who emphasized in her introductory words the importance and value of sound democratic education for young people, who, through their active role and participation, have a say in the future of a country.
Hon. Catherine Namugala, First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, thanked the donors and cooperation partners for their collaboration in creating the Educational Programme, which addresses and engages different audiences through its diverse activities. The Educational Programme has been developed over the past two years in an intensive peer-to-peer exchange between the public relations departments of the Zambian and Austrian Parliament within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments.
The Educational Programme for Zambian Learners aims to provide children and young people with a comprehensive understanding of the functions of a parliament, of democracy in general, the value of democratic institutions and the possibilities of active participation. The central components of the programme are the five aspects "Open Parliament", "Active Participation", "Spirit of Democracy", "Access to Information" and "Freedom of Expression". These were also graphically implemented and placed on the wall of the visitor center of the Zambian parliament.
The current Report (July 2019) informs on the project activities, including the two INDABAs in Lusaka and Vienna and presents the cornerstones of the Educational Programme for Zambian Learners.
Last week the news of Hon. Patricia Mwashingwele’s, chair of the Zambian Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, sudden passing reached the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments. We are deeply saddened by this news. She was a wonderful person and the project felt honoured to have known her and worked with her. Her calm, reflective and still very strong personality will be truly missed in our cooperation.
Our most sincere condolences go out to the National Assembly of Zambia and the family of Hon. Mwashingwele.
From the 23rd to the 25th of January 2019, the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments accompanied a Zambian delegation around the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Nkandu Luo, on their visit to Austria. The visit was initiated by the Austrian members of the Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, Hon. Nico Marchetti, Hon. Eva.-Maria Holzleitner and Hon. Stephanie Cox, which is implementing activities perteining to education and youth with the Zambian parliament.
On the 27th of March a FAIRTRADE exhibition took place within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments. The president of the National Council, Hon. Wolfgang Sobotka, stressed the importance of sustainability and an increased awareness about fair trading on a global scale. Many deputies are actively engaged in this respect, which serves an important role model funtion.
Austrian Parliament - National Assembly of Zambia
SDG Watch Austria is a plattform of civil society organisations supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
Der Jahresbericht 2018 des Wiener Instituts für Internationalen Dialog und Zusammenarbeit (VIDC) gibt einen Überblick über die unterschiedlichen Aktivitäten des Instituts, u.a. auch über jene des Parlamentarischen NordSüdDialog.