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Male (Maldives), 2 September 2019: The Fourth South Asian Speakers' Summit on achieving SDGs, which is being attended by an Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla, resumed its proceedings today. At the conclusion of the Summit, Male Declaration which included commitments to work collectively on Promoting Equality at Work including Equal Remuneration and Creating Jobs for Young People; Nutrition and Food Security as drivers of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health in the Asia Pacific Region; and Overcoming Challenges and Utilising Opportunities to Strengthen the Regional Agenda for Delivering on Paris Agreement; was adopted. On the sidelines of the Summit, Shri Om Birla held bilateral talks with Speaker of Bhutan Assembly H.E. Wangchuk Namgyel and members of his Delegation. Before discussions, Members of the Indian and Bhutanese Delegations stood up to pay respect to Late Shri Arun Jaitley and Smt Sushma Swaraj. The Indian Delegation also held detailed deliberations with the Parliamentary Delegations from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka on matters of bilateral interest. At the conclusion of the Summit, Shri Birla thanked the Speaker and Secretary General of Maldives Parliament for organizing the Conference and wonderful hospitality. Earlier, the Fourth South Asian Speakers' Summit on achieving SDGs was inaugurated by the Speaker of Peoples Majlis of Maldives in Male on 1 September 2019. The Summit business commenced with the Plenary wherein all the participating Presiding Officers reported upon the follow up by their respective Parliaments on the Colombo Declaration, brought out in the Third Summit held there in July last year. Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Birla informed the Summit in detail about the various measures initiated by Parliament of India pursuant to Colombo Declaration. Shri Birla said that the Indian Parliament has regularly taken up the issue of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that the Members of Parliament have enthusiastically participated in the deliberations on the same. Shri Birla added that India’s economic development is closely aligned with environmental protection and under this paradigm its emphasis is on green development. Shri Birla told the assembled delegates that in India the Parliament is playing a key role in consensus building and providing guidance to the policy making process on issues arising out of SDGs alongside monitoring the implementation of these policies by the government. The feedback was very well received by the Presiding Officers and Delegates attending the Summit. In the afternoon, the Summit deliberated in two sessions, namely, on 'Promoting equality at work including equal remuneration and creating jobs for young people' and 'Achieving SDGs 2 and 3 - Nutrition and food security as drivers of maternal, child and adolescent health in the Asia-Pacific region'. Shri Harivansh, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha participated in the two sessions.



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