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SDG success depends on sustainable recovery from pandemic, Hasina says

  • Golam Mujtaba Dhruba and Sabrina Karim Murshed, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-09-21 12:31:21 BdST

bdnews24

Development gains and progress towards Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, have been badly hit by the pandemic and only a sustainable recovery from it will lead to success, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says.

As such, the most urgent call is to ensure vaccines for everyone, everywhere and to close the huge resource gap in the implementation of the 2030 agenda, she said at the 9th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world, taking countless lives and upsetting livelihoods, the prime minister said.

Millions of people worldwide have been reduced to poverty and hunger with education facing huge disruption, especially of children.

 “We are concerned about the rising trend in global poverty, for the first time since 1998, due to the impact of the pandemic. Our recovery efforts need more focus on job creation, social protection, women empowerment, and science, technology, and innovation.”

Climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh are adversely affected by the pandemic as well as natural disasters which have affected the development gains and SDG progress, said the prime minister.

“The 2030 Agenda is a global compact. This is our blueprint for a sustainable and inclusive global development. No single country can achieve this agenda alone. We need enhanced global collaboration and solidarity to advance this agenda,” Hasina said.

Sharing her experiences and perspectives on how to “build forward better” and to get back on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda, the premier suggested that COVID-19 recovery measures should complement climate actions to create stronger resilience against any future shock or calamities.

Hasina stressed the need for more focus on enhanced monitoring and support mechanisms for SDGs implementation, and urged the UN to enhance coordination in this regard.

“It is also imperative to ensure that there are adequate and timely support measures to withstand emergencies and shocks to avoid any slide back. Scaling up preparedness for pandemic and other emergencies should be done with priority at every level,” Hasina said.

While highlighting Bangladesh’s achievements according to the Sustainable Development Report 2021 published by the University of Cambridge, Hasina mentioned 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.

Bangladesh has been working hard to integrate Agenda 2030 into national plans and policies putting a “whole of government” approach and a high-level national committee was formed for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, she said.

“We have already submitted two VNRs in 2017 and 2020. We have done sector specific assessments and integrated SDGs in our 8th Five Year Plan.  Our Second Perspective Plan has also been aligned with the SDGs. It envisions transforming Bangladesh into an upper-middle-income country by 2031, and a high-income country by 2041.”