Draft statement by H.E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Ambassador and PR of Bangladesh to the UN at the plenary session of the Second Committee on 9 October 2013
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
We align ourselves with the statements made by Fiji and Benin on behalf of Group of 77 and China and LDCs respectively.
At this crossroad of history, we have to be conscious of our responsibility. We have nearly 800 days to achieve the MDG targets. UN members and other stakeholders have started talking about the issues beyond 2015 agenda and no wonder, the theme of the present session is “Post 2015 development agenda – setting the stage”. In this context, the role of the Second Committee will be of utmost importance in shaping the future priorities and designing corresponding road-map in achieving those goals. My delegation will support you on your efforts.
Let me first touch on the issue of sustainable development. A number of excellent reports and recommendations have come out and they indicated certain priority areas beyond 2015 agenda, particularly how to ensure development that is sustainable, that is inclusive, that is equitable, that would eradicate poverty, and that would be pro-people and pro-planet. Bangladesh has already come up with its national Post-2015 development agenda strategy and it outlined 11 goals and 58 specific targets to achieve sustainable, pro-people and pro-planet development goals. We are an active member of the OWG, and are committed to contribute substantively to the process.
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At the same time, let us remind ourselves, MDGs are not yet over, and we are not yet ready to feel complacent. Bangladesh is one of the few developing countries that have made substantial progress in achieving many of the MDGs but not all to our satisfaction. More importantly, there are many countries – including most of the LDCs and post- conflict countries that have not been able to achieve significant progress in MDGs. Therefore, we need to go for a ‘big push’—an accelerated approach to achieve targets. In this regard, let me refer to the outcome document of the MDG Special event. We strongly believe that development process is a building blocks, and the post-2015 development goals should be built on a strong base of successful MDGs.
I would also like draw attention of this Committee to the issues of key importance to the LDCs, a vulnerable group. Although many efforts were made to help this group to graduate, unfortunately, progress is slow and dismal. Nearly 70% of people in this group live below the poverty- level and their share to the global trade which was around 1% in 1971 basically remained same in 42 years although their numbers both in population and in terms of countries doubled.
Global leaders over the last decade or so, repeatedly stated that international trade is the engine of development and they promised to allow them duty-free-quota-free access to markets. However, we are yet to see the fulfillment of their promises to the LDCs. LDCs have not yet got duty-free quota-free market access for all of their products. They still face non-harmonized, and in some cases stringent rules of origin, barriers in different modes. In the services agreement, although LDCs have the waiver, we need offers in the area of Mode-4 from the Member Countries that are effective and meaningful. With the WTO Bali Ministerial Meeting scheduled for December 2013, we call upon the developed countries, and the developing countries that are in position to do so, to fulfill their pledges and commitments to the LDCs in terms of international trade services as part of early harvest. For my delegation, meaningful market access is of key importance from our national development perspective.
Second, In all major UN conferences in the last decade or so, development partners have repeatedly expressed commitment to provide 0.7% of their GNP as ODA to developing countries, with 0.15-0.20% of GNI to LDCs as ODA. In fact, just C:\Users\modasser\Downloads\Second Committee.doc 3 two weeks ago, the global leaders reiterated their pledge through the Outcome of the MDG Special Event.
However, we are yet to see any action to fulfill these pledges. Only a few countries have realized the commitment, and we thank them. However, we are alarmed to see that for the major development partners, the ODA disbursements have rather declined in the recent years. The present global financial meltdown should not be used as a pretext to avoid abiding by the obligations repeatedly made over the years. It is of importance that the Second Committee deliberates on this issue as non-fulfillment of pledges can jeopardize development plans of the poorer countries.
Third, The issue of migration is now an integral part in the global development discourse. Remittance plays a key role. Doha Declaration on Financing for Development pledged to work on reducing the cost of remittance. This should be considered when we deal with the issue of financing for development. The cost of migration also needs to be reduced significantly, with the rights of migrants guaranteed in the host countries. Last week the President of the General Assembly organized a High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, with an agreed outcome. It is important that these issues are deliberated in the Second Committee, and we are ready to contribute in the discussions.
Fourth, Another issue of importance is climate change. Bangladesh, being a climate vulnerable country, is concerned about the non-action by some major industrialized countries to address this challenge. It is imperative that the developed countries as well as the fast growing developing countries take responsibility. Let me flag here,
Mr. Chairman, that Bangladesh on its own has taken several significant steps to address this global challenge. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) share a common space of concern and a top priority towards achieving MDGs.At national level we are strongly committed and have already incorporated DRR and CCA in the national 6th Five year Plan.
Two funds to finance adaptation projects domestically have been created: These are-(i) Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (Own resources worth USD 350 million), and (ii) Bangladesh Climate Change Resilient Fund (donor supported worth USD 195 million). Also, Bangladesh is actively engaged in Climate Vulnerable Forum, CVF and ARC plus friends of climate change. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina already pledged $ 100.000 to the CVF Multidonor Trust Fund .
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We don’t have enough resources and therefore, we continue to emphasize for UNFCC, Kyoto and Durban to succeed, robust action on direct and easy access to finance and technology. Climate finance must be with new and additional resources ,not confused with development assistance.
This Committee deals with “economic and financial” issues – and therefore, our deliberations will have to be pro-people, pro-planet and visionary, our discourse should be future looking and at the same time pragmatic and action-oriented.
In conclusion, Mr. Chair, we must do our best to send extreme poverty to a museum, create job opportunities for our youth, end financial instability and lop-sided development, and more importantly, provide hope and achievable vision for a world that is sustainable socially, environmentally and economically so that our future generations could be proud of all of us.
I thank you.