INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS TO DELIVER ON THE MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION FOR SDGS: PM SHEIKH HASINA
Terming this year’s UNGA- adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-2030 as a collective journey, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the international community has to deliver on the means of implementation.
Sheikh Hasina said, “For implementation of the SDGs, we will need scaled-up resources from all sources — public and private, domestic and international. Thus, fulfillment of the ‘ODA Targets’ will be crucial from the beginning.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was addressing a high-level discussion on “MDGS to SDGs: A Way Forward”, organized by Bangladesh on the sidelines of the seventieth UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters here.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is committed to lead by example again in case of SDGs as it has done for achieving the MDGs. “In the journey, no one will be left behind as we aspire to build a just, progressive, peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh.”
She added: “Bangladesh also needs critical support in technology and capacity building areas. In meeting the developmental and climatic challenges, Bangladesh need adaptive and environmentally-sound technologies – – particularly in areas like health, agriculture, energy and transport.”
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, President of the Republic of Benin Boni Yayi, Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan L”fven, President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft, UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark, UN Under Secretary General and representative of UN Secretary General, Gayan Chandra Achariya, and Special Envoy to World Bank President Mahmud Mohiuddin also spoke on the occasion.
Extending her thanks to world leaders for evaluating Bangladesh as a development surprise, she said Bangladesh has proved many myths wrong. To many development thinkers Bangladesh has progressed much more in development sector compared to many developing countries.
Talking about the inherent power of success in MDG achievements, the Prime Minister said at an early stage of MDG implementation, Bangladesh adjusted its development plans to the MDG framework. “We wanted the MDG targets to help us in realizing our national aspirations. We also mobilized our national resources and enhanced capabilities; empowered our people; engaged in partnership with a wide range of local and international actors.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh reduced extreme poverty during MDG period, improving access to basic education, health services, water and sanitation. During the last six years, “Our GDP grew at over 6 percent despite global slowdown.”
Over the past decade, Bangladesh exports grew by more than three times; foreign exchange reserves have risen around seven times. This year, Bangladesh graduated to the World Bank’s lower-middle income status. Bangladesh is on the course to become a middle-income country by 2021, she said.
“Our commitment has always been to ensure well-being of our people. We are working to protect vulnerable people, including migrants and persons affected by climate change, autism and other forms of disabilities. These come from our vision to build an inclusive society,” Sheikh Hasina said.
Pointing out the steps taken by her government to take technology to people’s doorsteps, the Prime Minister said, “Our vision of Digital Bangladesh is bringing results in lifting people’s lives and livelihoods. People in Bangladesh receive over 200 services from 5,275 Digital Centres.”
Over 16,500 IT-connected Community Health Clinics and Union Parishad Health Complexes extend basic healthcare services, she said.
The Prime Minister said to realise demographic dividend, Bangladesh invest heavily on skills development of its younger population. The government has given emphasize much on education and health for all, particularly of women and girls.
In this regard, she mentioned two examples of action plan taken for welfare of the women. One is stipends to 13.4 million students from poor families, with 75 percent girls, and free education for girls up to higher secondary level. As a result, their school dropout rate has fallen significantly. Moreover, the government distributes over 334 million textbooks for free all over Bangladesh on the first day of January every year. It is perhaps the biggest such undertaking anywhere in the world, she said.
She added: “To ensure food and nutrition security, we have scaled up our investment in agriculture. Bangladesh agriculture has fast transformed to be a driver of our development.”
The Prime Minister said technology and innovation is a hallmark of present-day agriculture in Bangladesh. “We have developed stress-tolerant crop varieties to adapt to the changing climate. We have achieved self-sufficiency in food production and now exporting rice abroad.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh looks at Agenda-2030 with much interest. “We want to sustain the momentum of the MDGs, build on their successes and transform Bangladesh,” she added.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has placed people at the centre of all national planning. As part of that, the Planning Commission is aligning the next Five Year Plan (2016 – 2020) with the new global Agenda.
She announced formation of a coordination mechanism under overall guidance of the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure effective implementation and coordination.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015