Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Success of SDGs Now Depends on Corona Recovery

Ensure vaccination for everyone: PM

Ensure vaccination for everyone: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for a global roadmap to ensure permanent recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGSs) by 2030.

"We need to chart out a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put us back on the SDGs track, so that no one is left behind," she said while addressing virtually the 9th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development on Monday (New York local time).

The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Global Masters of Development Practice and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network organised the conference, reports BSS.

Sheikh Hasina, in her speech, put forward a five-point proposal that is required to address properly the global Covid-19 pandemic to ensure achieving the SDGs.

In her first proposal, the Prime Minister said "The success of SDGs now depends on sustainable recovery from the pandemic. The call of the hour, and with real urgency, is to ensure vaccines for everyone, everywhere."

Sheikh Hasina, in her second proposal, said “We must close the huge resource gap in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.”

Thirdly, she said, “We are concerned about the rising trend in global poverty, for the first time since 1998, due to the impacts of the pandemic.”

In addition, recovery efforts need more focus on job creation, social protection, women empowerment, and science, technology, and innovation, she continued.

The Prime Minister, in her fourth, proposal said. "We believe that Covid-19 recovery measures should complement climate actions to create stronger resilience against any future shock or calamities."

Finally, there must be more focus on enhanced monitoring and support mechanism for SDGs implementation, she added.

The Prime Minister said that the UN (United Nations) should have enhanced 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, she added.

The Prime Minister advocated for scaling up preparedness for pandemic and other emergencies should be handled with priority at every level.

Describing the 2030 Agenda as a global compact, she said, "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." She said “Since we have already entered the Decade of Delivery and Action of the Agenda, yet the goals seem far away.”

"Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries were off-track to achieve their SDGs. The pandemic has pushed them further behind," she opined.

The Covid-19 pandemic has upset the world, she said adding that it has taken countless lives and upset livelihoods. Millions of people worldwide have been reduced to poverty and hunger, she added.

She continued that education is facing huge disruption, especially of children.

Noting that the climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh are adversely affected by the pandemic as well as natural disasters, she said, "Our development gains and SDGs progress have been badly hit."

Turning to her country's preparation to this end, she said that Bangladesh is the pioneer in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. “We have recently submitted an ambitious and updated NDC”, she added.

"We have adopted the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ focusing on green growth, resilient infrastructure and renewable energy," she informed.

Referring to the Sustainable Development Report 2021 published by the University of Cambridge, Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh has improved the most on the SDG Index since 2015.

The Prime Minister told the conference that Bangladesh is now among the five fastest growing economies in the world, and ranked 41st in terms of GDP.

She continued that the UN recommended Bangladesh to graduate from the LDC category this year.

The Prime Minister said “Since 2015, we have been working hard to integrate Agenda 2030 into our national plans and policies putting “whole of government” approach.”

A high-level national committee was formed for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, she also said.

To this end, 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."

Sheikh Hasina said it envisions transforming Bangladesh into an upper-middle-income country by 2031, and a high-income country by 2041. Mentioning that The Delta-Plan 2100 captures the SDGs vision and beyond, she said, "It aims to create a prosperous and climate resilient delta for our future generations."

The Premier said that they have taken up a coordinated effort involving the government, the private sector, the civil society, and other stakeholders to ensure “whole of society engagement”.