Zagreb - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković called on his counterparts from Council of Europe member states on Thursday to act together in order to avoid new divisions and preserve the European project, announcing that Croatia would promote the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during its presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2020.
Through continuous and constructive dialogue, mutual understanding and common action we can avoid divisions and preserve unity, he said in Strasbourg in a debate called "Our Common European Home: the next 70 years".
Earlier divisions brought us into the simplified trap of populism and criticism of everything that has been so carefully built for the past 70 years, Jandroković said.
One of the CoE's achievements is the single system of the European Convention on Human Rights and all the related instruments which focus on the protection of human dignity, he added.
Croatia's CoE membership benefited Croatian citizens. The CoE's role was especially invaluable in light of the efforts we invested on our path to membership of the EU, which we will chair in about two months, he said.
Sustainable development goals
Jandroković also spoke in a debate on the UN's sustainable development goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals Index ranks Croatia 22nd out of 162 countries, which gives us a good chance to become one of the leaders in the transition towards sustainability, he said.
He mentioned Croatia's first sustainable development documents, saying parliament adopted the Environmental Protection Declaration in 1992, only five months after Croatia was internationally recognised.
Currently in force is the 2009 Sustainable Development Strategy, while a national development strategy until 2030 is being drawn up.
The "Croatia as we want it" strategy will encompass priorities and contribute to the sustainable development and demographic revival of Croatia in the coming decade, Jandroković said.
Croatia will promote the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while chairing the Council of the EU next year, he said. The goals include ending poverty and hunger and promoting prosperity, peace, partnership and environmental protection.
Although the Agenda is not legally binding and the goals are being implemented slowly, he called on his counterparts to exchange opinions on how to step up the Agenda's progress. In that way, he said, we can revive the political momentum and initial enthusiasm.