Statement by H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at Second Committee on agenda item 23(a):Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017); 23(b): Industrial development cooperation; and 23(c): Women in development 22 October 2014
Thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor.
Bangladesh aligns itself with the statements made by Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 & China, and by Benin on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries.
- Eradication of Poverty is a task that we cannot shy away from. Our leaders committed to free the humanity from poverty and hunger urgently. We have definitely taken significant steps forward in achieving that goal, yet we have to cover long miles to reach the destination. Of the two poorest regions in the world, South Asia has moved forward in reducing the number of poor people, and is expected to meet MDG 1, however, unevenly. Despite gains in reducing the poverty headcount ratio, the number poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to grow. Good news is, the projected acceleration in reducing poverty in this region shows us optimistic forecast, and the global community must work closely to ensure that the projection meets the reality.
- Unemployment, informal employment, and youth unemployment are major obstacles to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable growth, and an issue of concern for us. Quality education may play a role in overcoming this barrier. Climate change is of course another key factor, making the journey of poverty eradication steeper for us. It is estimated that increased environmental degradation would lead to 1.9 billion more people in extreme poverty by 2050. We will need appropriate policy decisions and implementation to reduce poverty. National Governments must take the lead, however, with comprehensive support by international efforts as needed and asked by the national authorities. The OWG Report on SDGs rightly puts the eradication of poverty as the top priority goal, and it must remain as the top priority goal for inclusive, pro-people, pro-planet sustainable development.
- On the issue of industrial development, we believe strong industrial base can go a long way in helping a country, particularly an LDC, overcome the curse of poverty. Productive capacity building, the key priority area of the eight priorities mentioned in IPOA, highlighted the importance of creating links like infrastructure and strong work force essential for an efficient industrial economy. Industrialization is probably the quickest path to moving up the value chain for the LDCs.
- Importance of industrialization was recognized as part of goal 9 of the OWG report on SDGs. Transfer of technologies is important for efficient industries in LDCs. We look forward to early operationalization of the Technology Bank for LDCs adopted by the UN Membership last year, and request the Secretary General to expedite the task of the high level expert panel, so that, subject to the recommendation of the expert panel, the Technology Bank can start its work in stipulated time. Bangladesh is ready to offer initial facilities to start such Bank, or a regional center of it.
- Women are one of the most potential agents not only for eradication of poverty but also for achieving sustainable development. Strengthened and special attention is required for women empowerment in all of the cross-cutting sectors of the sustainable development.
- Bangladesh attaches highest importance to the vital role of women in development and remains committed to ensure women’s political and economic participation in all spheres of life.
Bangladesh is perhaps one of the only countries in the world that has lady Prime Minister, lady Speaker of the Parliament, lady Leader of the Opposition and lady Deputy Leader of the House. Bangladesh has moved from 8th to 7th position in women’s political empowerment in the Global
Gender Gap Report 2013. Since 2009, the number of women entrepreneurs has quadrupled in Bangladesh. 14,000 women have been elected in local elections and the country’s biggest export sector the readymade garments employs nearly 90-95% women workforce and national women workforce jumped from 7% in 2000 to 33% in 2014. These are not mean achievements. Yet we need to do much more proactively to overcome all the challenges of women development and decent social life.
- Bangladesh remains committed to the ongoing work at the UN on the post-2015 development agenda for the inclusion of gender equality in a comprehensive manner. In this respect, we strongly believe that development of women, especially economic emancipation is a must to realize our commitment to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women, and to establish rights of women.
- Finally, Madam Chair, let me reassure you of the constructive engagement of my delegation in the discussion and works of this Committee on these issues that are crucial for our shared development.
I thank you, Madam Chair.