Special Event to follow-up efforts made Towards Achieving the MDGs. Address by Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
New York, 25 September 2013
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu Alaikum and Good Morning to you all.
In September 2000, as Prime Minister of Bangladesh, I was here in New York for the adoption of the historic Millennium Declaration. It gave a “Development Vision” and set goals on reducing poverty, hunger and inequality, among others, by 2015. In 2010, I was here again as Prime Minister and termed the Millennium Declaration as the Magna Carta for a world free from hunger and underdevelopment. I am now here at this Special Event to share our experiences on MDGs, and thoughts on post-2015 agenda.
After returning from the Millennium Summit in 2000, I ensured that MDGs must be placed in the mainstream of our Development Agenda and Poverty Reduction Strategy. We integrated the MDGs in our annual, mid-term and long-term development plan. Our actions have proved to be success stories that are being universally acclaimed. Our efforts have so far led to our receiving the “MDG Award 2010”; the South-South Award for “Digital Health for Digital Development” in 2011, and the FAO “Diploma Award” this year, for MDG-1 on reducing hunger by 2012.
Bangladesh has been in the forefront of global efforts in laying down the political groundwork for intergovernmental negotiations for achieving a universally agreed post-2015 Development Agenda.
During the global recession, our policies, since forming government, enabled Bangladesh to sustain an average GDP growth rate of 6.4%, reduction of poverty from 56.6% in 1991 to below 26% now. And, with self-sufficiency in food, MDG-1 was achieved. Good progress was also made in MDG-2 covering equitable access to education with a Net Enrollment Rate of 99.47%. Free distribution of textbooks to students up to the secondary level, school feeding program, and e-learning helped in reducing dropouts.
MDG-3 on gender equality in primary and secondary education was achieved in 2009. Our gender sensitive education policy of stipends and exemption of tuition fees for girls up to college level was of great help. The recently introduced Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund for underprivileged students, especially girls, is also supporting the cause. The National Policy for Women’s Advancement 2011 has led to greater involvement of women in the national development, and in their participation in all walks of life.
On MDG-4, we achieved under-5 mortality rate of 36 per 1,000 live births in 2012, against targeted 48 by 2015. We did well in MDG-5 by reducing maternal mortality from 322 in 2001 to 194 in 2010. Our National Health Policy 2011 and the National Population Policy 2012 as well as the 15,500 community health clinics and Union Health and Welfare centers launched by our government, also helped our cause.
On MDG-6, we progressed well with HIV/AIDS cases down to less than 0.1%, prevention of Tuberculosis, reduction of malarial deaths, immunization of children, safe drinking water to 88.2 % of the people, and ensured 91% sanitation. A formidable challenge is MDG-7 for Bangladesh, a low lying coastal state, fraught with natural disasters. Our government has been implementing a 134-point Action
Plan in line with our mitigation and adaptation policy. The global community should positively respond to their promises to our causes.
MDG-8 on global partnership does not reach the level of the promised resources. We would request our development partners to keep their commitments when they support our MDG efforts.
Several national and sub-national consultations on Post-2015 Agenda, with a focus on “People, Planet and Economy,” led to 11 global goals with 58 targets and 241 measurable indicators for the period proposed from 2016 to 2030. Our national consultations also happily reflect the UN’s priorities. I assure you that our government will make all efforts in forging consensus for our shared future, and also keep our commitments in providing tangible benefits through empowering our people. Here, the “People’s Empowerment and Development” model that I proposed at the UNGA in 2011 may be viewed when shaping the post-2015 development agenda.
I thank you.