Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has underscored the need for charting out a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put the world back on the SDGs track so that no one is left behind as pandemic has pushed many countries way behind from the goals.
“We’ve already entered the Decade of Delivery and Action of the Agenda. Yet the goals seem to be far away for many countries ….the pandemic has pushed them further behind. We need to chart out a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put us back on the SDGs track,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while attending the 9th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development virtually on Monday.
Earth Institute, Columbia University, Global Masters of Development Practice, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network organised the conference on sustainable development.
Hasina said, “No country can achieve SDGs alone. We need enhanced global collaboration and solidarity to advance this agenda.”
To pull back the countries which are way behind the track of attaining SDGs in right time, Hasina proposed five specific points in this regard.
The points are: Ensuring vaccines for everyone, everywhere, closing the huge resource gap in implementing the 2030 Agenda, focusing on job creation, social protection, women empowerment, and science, technology, and innovation to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, making Covid-19 recovery measures complementary with climate actions and focusing on enhanced monitoring and support mechanism for SDGs implementation.
Hasina said the UN should have enhanced coordination in this regard. “It’s also imperative to ensure there’re adequate and timely support measures to withstand emergencies and shocks to avoid any slide back.”
She said scaling up preparedness for pandemic and other emergencies should be done with a priority at every level as the pandemic has upset the whole world, claiming countless lives and taking its toll on livelihoods.
Hasina also mentioned Bangladesh’s achievements in MDGs were highly significant and it was recognised by the international community as a “development miracle”. “Our SDGs journey builds on the successes of MDGs.”
About the climate change, she said Bangladesh is the pioneer in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and it has recently submitted an ambitious and updated NDC.
According to the Sustainable Development Report 2021 published by the University of Cambridge, Bangladesh has improved the most on the SDG Index since 2015.
“Bangladesh is now among the five fastest growing economies in the world, and ranked 41st in terms of GDP. The UN recommended Bangladesh to graduate from the LDC category this year.”
She said the government has taken up a coordinated effort involving the government, the private sector, the civil society, and other stakeholders to ensure the “whole of society engagement”.
To reach the people who are the furthest behind, she said the government has put additional focus on localizing SDGs. “We’ve have launched SDGs tracker. This serves as a data storehouse to monitor real-time progress of our SDGs.”
She said the government has invested heavily in the infrastructure capacity and is launching mega infrastructure projects like the Padma Bridge, Dhaka Metro rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel and the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
“Women have been mainstreamed in national development and economic activities. And they are now the backbone of certain vital sectors, such as the RMG,” she added.
Hasina said the investment in digitisation and connectivity has spurred the digital economy, youth-led innovations and transformative socio-economic changes. “This is now also helping us tackle the Covid-19 pandemic better.”