All development partners at home and abroad must come forward in order to support the country to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said “We are hopeful that we are on the right track and will overcome our challenges as we did in the past in order to successfully accomplish the SDGs with the cooperation of the UN and all other stakeholders,” Momen said.
Momen came up with these observations while addressing a conference titled “SDGs and Bangladesh: Partnership with the United Nations in achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh” at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city. “Although the government along with the development partners has formulated several plans which are implemented on various scales but we still have a long way to go and all the stakeholders should work together in the foreseeable future to achieve anticipated outcomes in terms of SDGs,” he said.
“Good news is we have launched the SDG tracker that can be used for comprehensive target setting and monitoring progress of each SDG, along with the indicators,” he mentioned. Momen said, “Although we are progressing in every dimension, we still have a long way to go. Vulnerability to the climate change poses a great threat to us”.
He said, the government has developed the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) funded by its own money. Currently, several projects for mitigating the climate change effect and developing resilience against the threat have been implemented by the government in coordination with the UN and other development partners, he informed.
Ending poverty, ensuring health facilities for all, reducing child and maternity death, reducing inequality in all spheres of national life, ensuring quality education, ensuring environmental well-being are some of the major challenges that need to overcome, he added. The Foreign Minister said, “The UN Country Team (UNCT), comprising 23 different UN organisations collectively supports the government’s efforts to achieve the SDGs.”
“UN’s cooperation in the attainment of MDGs is genuinely praiseworthy and I personally thank them for this. They’re also working closely with the government to formulate the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework aligned with the 8th Five Year Plan,” he said. State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division, Planning Commission Dr. Shamsul Alam and UNFPA Regional Director, Asia Pacific Bjorn Andersson, among others, spoke at the inaugural session.
M Shahriar Alam said SDGs would require much greater, long-term and assured global resources and support for sustainable development in developing countries like Bangladesh. “I hope our friends in the UN system will continue their support and cooperation to our efforts,” he said.
“We’ve our political commitments and policy support for successful implementation of the SDGs,” he said adding that they are mobilising resources, enhancing capabilities and empowering people with this end. He said they are also engaged in partnership with a wide range of international actors, private sectors and responsible civil society. “Many innovation and development solutions have already been devised. But many more need to be done,” he said.