Tuesday, 28 March, 2023

Belgians Queen to showcases Bangladesh’s dynamism and commitment to SDGs

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 6th February, 2023 08:28:17 PM
  • Print news

Welcoming the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate the Queen of the Belgians in Bangladesh, the UN Country team in Dhaka said the visit highlights the heightened importance of the SDGs, and also showcases Bangladesh’s dynamism and commitment to them.

The Queen of the Belgians, who arrived here on Monday for a three-day visit to Bangladesh, will meet with the Government, and the UN Country Team members, and visit project sites of multiple UN agencies covering a number of SDGs, including Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action, among others.

 In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which stalled and reversed development progress globally, and the subsequent war against Ukraine that precipitated a cost-of-living crisis, this visit highlights the heightened importance of the SDGs, and also showcases Bangladesh’s dynamism and commitment to them, reads a statement of Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Bangladesh.

On her first day in the country, the Queen visited Fakir Apparels Ltd, a garment factory in Narayangan that produces clothes for major international brands. About one-third of the factory’s employees are women, who have participated in women’s empowerment initiatives by the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) through the Better Work programme.

Partnering with 47 of the world’s leading brands, employers’ associations, the Better Work programme supports 450 factories and has impacted more than 1.25 million workers in Bangladesh. This work contributes to the sustainable development goals of achieving gender equality, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and ensuring decent work for all. 

Queen of the Belgians met with some of the women working at the factory and visited the childcare facilities.  

“I am delighted that the Queen of the Belgians has joined us in advocating for decent work and the SDGs in Bangladesh. Ensuring decent work contributes to progress on many other SDGs including those related to inequality, poverty, food security, health, and the environment—particularly for dynamic countries like Bangladesh," said Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh.

 Afterward, the Queen visited an Ability Based Accelerated Learning (ABAL) centre in Dhaka’s Khilgaon area, where she spoke with the children about how the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted their lives and education.

In accordance with the sustainable development goal of Quality Education, UNICEF-supported learning centres and catch-up programmes offer flexible education for over 80,000 Bangladeshi children aged 7-14 who have dropped out, are at risk of dropping out from school, or have never been enrolled in formal education. Once children reach age-appropriate skills, the ABAL centres support their enrolment in formal primary schools.