By Department of Public Relations, Parliament of Sierra Leone
The Speaker of Sierra Leone Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu has moved a motion in Austria among his peers for education and protection of the environment to form an integral component of economic development.
He recalled how Lee Kwan Yew had used education to transform Singapore to a first class country. Singapore, he also said was a country bereft of all resources, save for education which Mr. Lee had used to move their per capita income from $428 in 1965 to almost $12,000 in a single generation.
In addressing hundreds of participants, Hon. Dr. Bundu concluded by moving a motion to “achieving sustainable development requires more attention on human wellbeing and environmental preservation than economic development”.
Hon. Dr. Bundu said that economic growth is important, but it must be seen as a sum total of good governance, development of the wellbeing, in particular human capital, and care for the environment.
The main ingredients, he noted are inclusive of good governance, economic growth, human wellbeing and care for the environment. He also said that there is need to strike a delicate balance at all times through participatory and enlightened leadership at national and international levels.
He said in furtherance, that human wellbeing is about ensuring an educated, healthy, just, inclusive, and cohesive society, and the need to create equal opportunity for all.
He said, that could not be measured by individual income and GDP alone, but that it involves much more than that. He said it must be anchored on the expansion of people’s capabilities to drive national and global economic, social and environmental change; adding it must be people-centered with a view to increasing opportunities in good health, education, safety, and employment.
He noted that it must demand the removal of obstacles like poverty, oppression, and violence from enjoyment of universal human rights, accountable governance, and fundamental freedoms. Hon. Dr. Bundu said that, it involves an investment that is people-empowered, gender-inclusive, rights-based, and locally relevant.
These, he said are elements of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), which have less than ten years to be attained.
Sierra Leone delegation was led by the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu and included Hon. Paran Umar Tarawally, Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Alice Kumabeh and Mary Koroma, Secretary to the IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) delegation, to Vienna, Austria and took part in the 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments from 7-8 September, 2021.
It was the first major in-persons parliamentary meeting which attracted top legislators, 18 months ago, and brought together close to 100 Speakers from 115 national assemblies.
The Speakers Conference was organized by the Austrian Parliament in collaboration with United Nations. The Conference also adopted a high-level declaration on parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that will deliver peace and sustainable development for the people and the planet.