Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Noting South-South Cooperation was built on the foundation of solidarity, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said global solidarity is needed to find new ways to rebuild the world. “And this has to be taken to the next step for national wellbeing, national collective self-reliance and international development goals including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said. Momen made the remarks while delivering his keynote speech at a virtual roundtable titled “Our Common Agenda – A Ministerial Dialogue” organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation on Monday. Read:Dhaka, Kathmandu seek enhanced ties for mutual gains
US Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele J. Sison has said that the US is committed to strengthening cooperation for the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh. She said the discussion on cooperation and coordination with UN agencies in Bangladesh is critical to this effort. In Dhaka, the US Assistant Secretary is discussing mutual priorities at the UN, including peacekeeping, food security, human rights, and global health. Sison arrived here on Saturday evening as part of her tri-nation official tour. Director General (Americas wing) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nayem Uddin Ahmed received her at the airport. Bangladesh and the United States will “further follow up” the discussions that the two countries had over the last few months during her visit to Bangladesh. Read: US Assistant Secretary Sison in city Dhaka’s demand for withdrawal of sanctions on elite force Rab and the Rohingya issue are also expected to be discussed during the visit. “We have multi-faceted relationship with the United States,” said foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday, adding that many issues can be discussed. He said they are known to each other and will be able to have “free and frank” discussion on many issues. The US assistant secretary has already visited India and will go to Kuwait as part of her tri-nation visit from August 2-10. Sison will have consultations on a range of US multilateral priorities, including combating food insecurity, advancing global health, addressing human rights and humanitarian needs, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and support for Rohingya refugees during her stay in Bangladesh. Sison was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs on December 21, 2021. She served as US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives (2012-2014), US Ambassador to Lebanon (2008-2010), and US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (2004-2008).
Although Bangladesh is on track and performing well in achieving many of the UN-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time, it still faces the challenges of low external resources and lack of global partnership apart from lower revenue-GDP ratio. Achieving SDGs will critically depend on the availability of resources including external resources and global partnership, according to an official document collected by UNB. The United Nations adopted the SDGs in 2015 with a global call of action on 17 integrated goals with a pledge to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate and ensure peace and prosperity for people everywhere by 2030. Read: Hasina receives SDGs Progress Award Bangladesh’s performance has so far been commendable in various fields, including poverty reduction, gender equality, child and maternal mortality, nutrition, sanitation, electricity, annual GDP growth and disaster management. But it has to overcome a number of the hurdles to further improve its performance, the document observes. “Government revenue as a proportion of GDP needs to be substantially increased through undertaking measures for increasing the number of taxpayers and improving tax collection and management mechanism,” it says. The document calls for a substantial increase in inflow of FDI and remittance for achieving of the the goals. Read KOICA to help generate statistics to indicate progress on SDGs According to official data, the tax to GDP ratio of the country has been 9.9 per cent on an average since 2015-2019, while it is 19.8 per cent for India, 23.9 per cent for Nepal, 14.7 per cent for Pakistan, 13.5 per cent for Sri Lanka. The ratio is 25.6 per cent for developing countries and 35.9 per cent for developed countries, according to the data. Read UNDP launches Accelerator Lab in Bangladesh to support SDGs The tax-to-GDP ratio is a ratio of a nation's tax revenue relative to its gross domestic product, the value of goods and services produced in a country during a certain period. The ratio is also a marker of how well the government controls a country's economic resources. The document says that Bangladesh has undertaken a comprehensive strategy and actions to effectively internalise Sustainable Development Goals. The 7th Five Year Plan incorporated 82 per cent of sustainable development targets. As a result, the country is well on track in achieving SDGs. Out of 17 SDGs, Bangladesh has made considerable progress in reducing poverty. In 2019, the proportion of population living below the international poverty line (absolute poverty measured by USD 1.90 per day) was 10.5 per cent. Read: Hasina seeks SDGs roadmap for countries falling behind
Fairooz Faizah Beether, the co-founder of Moner School, has won the 2021 Goalkeepers Global Goals Changemaker Award. This was announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday. The 2021 Changemaker Award, which celebrates an individual who has inspired change using personal experience or from a position of leadership, recognises Faizah of Bangladesh for her work promoting good health and well-being, the Foundation said in a release. Beether has co-founded Moner School, an online platform that aims to raise awareness around mental health and ensure equal access to mental healthcare across the country. As part of its annual goalkeepers campaign, the foundation also announced the winners of three additional Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards. Read:UN awards 110 Bangladesh Navy members for peacekeeping Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, has been announced as one of the three winners of the 2021 Global Goalkeeper Award. “By shining a light on the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls, former Under-Secretary-General Mlambo-Ngcuka has ensured that global and local efforts to battle Covid-19 must take into account the acute disparities they face,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “She exemplifies the leadership we need in the fight for gender equality around the world.” The 2021 Global Goalkeeper Award recognises a leader who has driven progress on a global scale toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "This year’s award is being presented to Mlambo-Ngcuka for her unwavering global leadership on gender equality and continued advocacy to address the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls," the Foundation said. Mlambo-Ngcuka, a former deputy president of South Africa, has dedicated her life to advancing social justice and working with civil society organisations. During her tenure as the executive director of UN Women, she led work to strengthen and expand partnerships with government, male allies, and the media, all in service of advancing SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday adopted a resolution to encourage member states to consider the impact of key rapid technological changes on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It urged member states and other stakeholders to take actions to bridge the digital and knowledge divides and stressed the need for providing universal and affordable access to the internet by 2030. Read: KOICA takes project on road safety in Bangladesh through ITS The resolution reaffirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy, with special regard given to the protection of children. It calls on member states to consider adopting or maintaining data protection legislation, regulation and policies that comply with their international human rights obligations. The resolution recognises the need for more coordinated and scaled-up global digital capacity-building efforts and stronger capacity-building support at the country level. Read: Live up to promises to ensure SDG benefits for marginalised: PM It stresses the importance of rapid technological change in ensuring food security by 2030, encourages the adoption of the most advanced and appropriate information technology in agriculture systems, and calls for enhanced international cooperation to facilitate access and promote investment in clean energy research, technology and infrastructure.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Austria and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Agencies and other International Organizations in Vienna Muhammad Abdul Muhith has taken over the chairmanship of the Group of Aisa-Pacific States (APG) in Vienna. Read:Ambassador Ito sees 5 challenges ahead to elevate Dhaka-Tokyo ties In the 54-member group, the Chair plays a vital role in coordinating the positions of this unique and diverse group with regard to the UN agencies, conferences and processes based in Vienna, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. Ambassador Muhith vowed to effectively promote the APG’s collective interests on important issues such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), innovative and peaceful use of nuclear technology, climate action, inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), and to tackle global challenges such as transnational crimes including terrorism, narcotic drugs and corruption as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resilient and green recovery. Read: Peter Haas nominated next US Ambassador to Bangladesh Bangladesh took over the Chairmanship from Afghanistan at a virtual handover ceremony recently which was attended by the Permanent Representatives and other diplomats of the APG member states in Vienna.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all to work together to preserve biodiversity and help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "As we seek to build back better from the current crisis, let us work together to preserve biodiversity so we can achieve our Sustainable Development Goals," he said in a message marking the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday. The UN chief said this year’s message for the International Day for Biological Diversity is clear. "Our solutions are in nature." He said preserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is necessary for mitigating climate disruption, guaranteeing water and food security and even preventing pandemics. The UN chief said COVID-19 –which emanated from the wild -- has shown how human health is intimately connected with our relationship to the natural world. "As we encroach on nature and deplete vital habitats, increasing numbers of species are at risk," he said adding that it includes humanity and the future they want. He said that is how they will protect health and well-being for generations to come.
In a new framework released Monday as a roadmap to support countries' path to social and economic recovery, the United Nations called for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection.
Voicing concern over the high rate of growth in GDP failing to meet expectations in terms of job creation, experts at a workshop Thursday said the country's economy may soon have to face the adverse effects of the uneven form of growth it is experiencing.