Sustainable Development Goals

Part of Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:07 pm on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner 6:07 pm, 28th January 2015

I would hope that no one in the House believes that tackling climate change is not important. It is important that the sustainable development goals give priority to environmental sustainability to tackle climate change—that is an essential prerequisite of poverty eradication—and go on to deal with issues such as disaster risk reduction, water and food security, and nutrition. All of those are tied up with climate change. The House should not spend time being concerned about climate change deniers—we have moved on from that.

The sustainable development goals highlight aspects of governance that the millennium development goals left out. If we go back to the heady days of 2000, it was a frabjous time when the whole international community came together. There was a feeling that just by announcing millennium development goals they would happen but, as we have seen, there are still issues with transparency, corruption, the rule of law, property rights, peace and security, all of which are important.

Stephen Doughty and I are both officers of the all-party group for Somaliland and Somalia. Earlier this year, the

Foreign Office allowed me to go to Mogadishu for a single day—it was a very long day visit—because security is so bad in Somalia that that was all that I was permitted to do. Two days after I returned, there was a mortar attack on the presidential house in Mogadishu, in which, sadly, a number of people were killed. It is incredibly difficult—how does one manage a country that has been undermined by terrorists and insurgents? Likewise, when I went to Juba last year—how does one run country that is locked in civil war? So it is absolutely right that the sustainable development goals are going to focus on issues such as corruption, transparency and trying to bring security.