Youth Representatives Pledge to Promote Sustainable Development Objectives

After nine sessions of discussion, the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians concluded with the adoption of a statement on the role of young people in driving digital transformation and innovation in order to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. The closing session took place on the afternoon of September 16.

Young Parliamentarians Commit to Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
Dan Carden, president of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians and Ha Anh Phuong, member of the National Assembly of Vietnam presented the draft statement of the conference. Photo:

More than 200 young parliamentarians are gathered at the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians from September 14-17, 2023 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Our purpose is to reaffirm our commitment to promoting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on digital transformation and innovation.

During the conference, young parliamentarians discussed and proposed various actions to drive the implementation of SDGs through digital transformation and innovation.

In the area of digital transformation, we called for member parliaments to update regulations and working methods to facilitate greater digitalization. This includes using interactive platforms for direct dialogue between voters and parliamentarians, encouraging the participation of different groups, especially young people, in parliamentary activities. We also emphasized the need to establish or strengthen parliamentary committees and mechanisms that can predict and respond to long-term trends or potential threats, while involving young people in these bodies. Moreover, we highlighted the importance of equipping all parliamentarians with the necessary knowledge and technical support for online legislative processes, utilizing virtual assistant platforms, employing AI tools to enhance legislative quality, and creating digital libraries for national legal documents.

To bridge the digital divide and ensure access for all, member parliaments should enact policies and regulations that reduce access costs, develop digital infrastructures, and enhance professional skills. Additionally, measures should be taken to safeguard countries’ digital sovereignty, establish legal frameworks for data protection, and combat online harassment and violence against parliamentarians, particularly women.

In the realm of innovation and entrepreneurship, young parliamentarians urged member parliaments to bolster the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship by implementing supportive legal frameworks and allocating increased funding. They also emphasized the importance of educational programs that equip the younger generation with the necessary skills for the future, with a particular focus on digital skills. Promotion of startup and innovation activities targeting youth, students, and women, as well as gender integration in association with the SDGs, were also highlighted. Young parliamentarians called for the establishment of dedicated programs for digital innovation and startups.

Young Parliamentarians Commit to Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
Delegates attending the conference. Photo:

In the realm of culture, young parliamentarians called for the development of a common parliamentary approach to establish ethical principles and values for decision-making, research, and development in science and technology. One example is the IPU code of conduct on the ethics of science and technology, which aims to ensure responsible, ethical, and sustainable development and application of science and technology. Efforts to prevent online violence against women and girls were also emphasized through the promotion of gender equality, control of hate speech, and responsible AI management. Member parliaments were urged to strengthen data protection laws, particularly on personal data and cyber threats, and promote open source and transparent algorithms.

The statement concludes by expressing gratitude to the National Assembly of Vietnam for successfully hosting the Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians and its support of young parliamentarians and the implementation of SDGs through the IPU and other inter-parliamentary mechanisms.

“The statement adopted at this conference will serve as a driving force for effectively implementing digital transformation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and promoting respect for cultural diversity for sustainable development. It will also empower youth, expand their participation in democratic processes, and address global challenges.”

Nguyen Anh Tuan, leader of the Vietnamese Young National Assembly Deputies Group

“The statement is a practical and action-oriented document that will support our work.”

Dyah Roro Esti, Indonesian parliamentarian and member of the Leadership Board of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians

Rosie Nguyen