BB guidance helps BD achieve SDGs

The central bank of Bangladesh has been playing a vital role to design policy guidelines and programmes for stakeholders of financial sector of the country towards implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs).  Touhidul Alam Khan, Deputy Managing Director of Prime Bank Ltd, an expert on SDGs, made the comments on the 2nd day of the international conference on “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Implementation Status in Bangladesh” that concluded in Bangkok, Thailand. In his paper, Khan has made some recommendation saying that localization and customization of SDGs and private sector engagement can play a vital role to achieve the SDGs not only in Bangladesh but all over the world.  Awareness needs to be created at all levels in turning 2030 Agenda from a global vision into a local reality. And local communities and stakeholders, who must know individual and collective needs and capacities best, are critical partners in implementing and realising the goals. Targets and indicators of SDGs for contextualising the 2030 Agenda need to be appropriately synchronised with local development plans and strategies with utmost importance”. “The Cost & Management Accountants (CMAs) of Bangladesh can play an important role in making the business case for pursuing appropriate SDGs, monitoring and evaluating their impact, and ensuring alignment of sustainability initiatives with corporate activities,” hefurther said More than 35 attendees from different countries and territories including Canada, Japan, U.S.A and other Asian and African countries attended the conference.  Discussions spanned topics like practical measures for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress evaluation methodologies, and mechanisms for achieving social consensus. Some interesting and innovative theories and models like Sustainable Enterprise Theory (SET) have been presented in three- day conference which have been attracted by the attendees from different countries.  

Touhidul Alam Khan made 45-minute presentation on “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Implementation Status in Bangladesh.”

Regarding the progress and implementation status of SDGs in Bangladesh, Touhidul Alam Khan explained, “Bangladesh together with other world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2015. This is a global commitment towards a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive development, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.”

As a banker, he has also explained the role of Bangladesh Bank as central bank in achieving SDGs in Bangladesh. 

“Knowledge limitations should not stop enterprises from doing business with a goal of better long-term life on earth. Life demands stewardship of the resources used during one’s lifetime”, Dr. Sc Arne Fagerstorm, Professor of Accounting & Sustainable Finance, University of Gavle, Sweden presented a Sustainable Enterprise Theory (SET) which can only be a valid theory if knowledge about life and nature is influenced completed for doing business. His research paper develops a model influenced by enterprise theory and resource theory that includes more than money in the business activities of an enterprise. 

Bianca Apps delegates from Northwestern University of Qatar presented a paper on “A Sustainable path forward: The use of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT) and Coaching in Business” which was very innovative idea for the audience. Her paper explores the sustainability aspects of mindful leadership and the utilisation of behavioral therapy in the workplace. 

Keynote speakers from 16 countries from USA, Egypt, India, Morocco, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Canada, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Thailand, Korea, Madagascar, Sweden and Qatar have presented their papers on various topics related to sustainable development issues in 3-day international conference which was started of July 07, 2019. 

Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, the SDGs are intended to end poverty, protect the environment and safeguard peace and prosperity around the world. The 17 goals comprise 169 targets in such fields as clean water and sanitation, climate change, gender equality, global hunger, poverty and sustainable cities.

In the conference, the invited delegates have presented their topics in various formats like Oral presentation, Video presentation and Poster presentation. The delegates from different countries have presented around 30 papers including poster & video presentations. This was highly exciting and challenging international Conference on sustainable development intended as a forum, discussion and networking place for academics, researchers, professionals, administrators, educational leaders, policy makers, industry representatives, advanced students, and others.

Fellow member of Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) and first Certified Sustainability Reporting Assurer (CSRA) in Bangladesh, Touhidul Alam Khan opined that the papers are presented in 3-day conference are very rich, innovative and may be the milestone for many countries in various aspects towards achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030.