The declaration emphasised on the need to harmonise development with environment preservation and recognising centrality of principles of common but differentiated responsibilities.

It also called upon Parliaments to create gender sensitive elected bodies, particularly at the grassroots level, with a view to achieving gender equality and prioritising issues pertinent to women.  We all acknowledge that women rights are indeed human rights. Women have a right to live with dignity and equality. Women must enjoy equal access to education, economic resources and employment, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said while speaking in the valedictory session. She said that development cannot be sustainable if women are denied equality.

In the declaration, the Speaker noted that the region is facing various challenges and agreed to consider setting up of Joint Parliamentary Groups of different countries under this forum to deliberate and deepen cooperation on relevant issues.

At the summit, it was also decided to encourage the parliamentarians of South Asia region to share and learn and benefit from the best practices followed in different countries. Laying emphasis on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the declaration urged the Parliaments of member countries to create enabling conditions for encouraging private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to participate in the realisation of these goals.

Facilitate sharing of knowledge, information, research support and capacity building programmes for achieving SDGs, the speakers said in the declaration.

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