Thanks to the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments development issues are also dealt with outside the subcommittee for developement cooperation. This is important because development policy is a cross-cutting issue. In the committee for finance MPs debate the IFI Act, i.e. the legal basis which ensures the financing of international financial institutions like the World Bank or the IMF. In the committee for agriculture MPs have discussed the IAASTD, which had a negative reporting recently - 900 million people go hungry, but not because there is not enough food, but because food is unequally distributed or people's livelihoods are destroyed by pracitces such as land grabbing. The committee on sports is dealing with human rights issues in mega-sports events such as olympic games or soccer worldcups. All the above topics are of relevance to development policy, even if they are not treated in the particular subcommittee.
Through the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments an awareness is created that development policy is made in every committee. In addition, through its partnership with the Sambian Parliament, the project repeatedly allows meetings and encounters that create a better and deeper understanding for developing countries. The agreement between the two parliaments means that subjects relating to Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Education - are jointly discussed in the coming partnership years.
Development policy is a broad subject, a classic cross-cutting issue, a policy field in which coherence of many different subject areas is particularly essential. Therefore, it is important to have many committed fellow activists among the Austrian parliamentarians, regardless of where their priorities lie.
Yours, Petra Bayr
Chair of the Steering Group of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments
Within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments it is possible to discuss development policy agendas, to make them visible in the Austrian parliament and to the interested public, and to work together with partners in Africa. Development cooperation is more than the provision of financial resources. Rather, it is about equitable partnerships, the exchange of knowledge and expertise, trust and reliability between the partner countries, as well as respect for human rights and democratic values in the common development process.
According to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it is important to make politics as coherent and holistic as possible - that is, ecologically sound, socially just and economically successful. Two sustainability goals are particularly noteworthy in this respect. These include promoting peace and justice and building strong institutions (SDG 16), as well as building international partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17).
A key element in achieving these SDGs is parliamentary cooperation - as it is currently the case between Austria and Zambia. This will enable the joint exchange of information and ideas between parliamentarians and, as a result, a constructive dialogue will be maintained.
Yours, Ernst Gödl
Deputy Chairman of the steering group NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments