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The world needs parliaments if it is to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Only parliament has the legitimacy to allocate resources in the national budget, create the necessary legal framework and hold government to account for
progress towards those goals. The World e-Parliament Report 2016 shows that parliamentary ICT systems are increasingly publishing data in formats that civil society can reuse and bring to a wider audience. They are making it easier for citizens to participate in political life by signing a petition online or raising issues that are followed up on during parliamentary hearings. They are making it possible for everyone to see what their representatives have said in parliament and how they have voted. In themselves, these are valuable public goods. More than that, by stimulating citizen participation in the work of parliament, effective parliamentary ICT systems help parliaments deliver better budgets, better laws and more responsive government. Many parliaments have adopted a strategic approach to ICT, building solid technical infrastructure and nurturing highly skilled staff, better equipping them to meet the challenges of rapid technological and social change. However, the gap between parliaments is great. That there is a strong correlation between income level and the level of technology use in parliament, as in society at large, while unsurprising, cannot be considered an acceptable state of affairs in a world committed to “leave no-one behind”. The time has come for the international community to invest more in parliaments, so that parliaments can play their full role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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