Remarks made by Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal SDG Coordinator, Bangladesh at the High-Level event on “the Impact of the SDGs on Development Cooperation” at Trusteeship Council, 22 September 2017
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.
At the very outset, I would like to thank the Qatar Mission for organizing this event.
Two years ago, the international community adopted the transformative 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The universality, the indivisibility and the holistic nature of these Goals was a recognition that in this highly interconnected world sustainable development is a global and shared responsibility. Global partnership, thus, constitutes the bedrock of the SDGs.
We are in the second year of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We have seen the progress achieved in its implementation. It is encouraging that there has been positive trend in most of the SDG indicators at the global level. Despite such global progress, the fact remains that the global average obscures huge disparities between countries.
We are highly encouraged that the global poverty rate has been halved since 2000. However, in LDCs, around 40 per cent of their population are still living in extreme poverty. According to the report of the Secretary-General on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals 2017, LDCs are lagging far behind in almost all areas of the SDGs compared to other developing countries. Furthermore, recent UN projections warn that the business as usual approach with current growth projections would leave nearly 35 per cent of the population in LDCs in extreme poverty by 2030.
The international community must recognize that many developing countries including the LDCs are not only facing structural disadvantages, they are also bearing the major brunt of new and emerging challenges including climate change. These countries are facing disproportionate impacts arising from climate change induced havocs, health pandemics, commodity price volatility and other macroeconomic shocks, and conflict and post conflict shocks. The world is also facing severe food insecurity which must warrant our immediate attention.
As many of you are aware, Bangladesh achieved impressive success in implementing the MDGs. We are equally committed to realize the SDGs. We integrated SDGs into our national development plans. Bangladesh shared its developmental experiences with the international community by participating at this year’s National Voluntary Review during the HLPF. In alignment with the Vision 2021 laid out by our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we have been making the best of efforts to implement the SDGs.
However, like many other developing countries, we find that mobilizing resources for these highly ambitious set of Goals is the biggest challenge for us. Hence, we reiterate that SDG 17 is the lifeblood of the 2030 Agenda. For many of us, there is a very high correlation between the achievement of the SDGs and the external sources of finance.
We are deeply concerned that the global partnerships for development are passing through a critical time. While many developing countries are in dire need of additional global support in billions of dollars, we are experiencing consistent and considerable decline in ODA, FDI, trade etc. We hardly see any significant progress in supporting the developing countries in their capacity building and making technology available to them.
While we are making the best efforts in mobilizing domestic resources, our development partners need undertake concrete actions to reverse the declining trend in ODA, FDI and exports. Our development partners must deliver on their commitments to accelerate development in our countries. A bigger role must be played by the UN system organizations and international financial institutions including the World Bank Group and the IMF by allocating additional grants and concessional lending to the most vulnerable countries to meet their SDG needs. Since the SDG implementation would require a multi-stakeholder engagement, we must incentivize the private sector and the business community to play their supportive role so that the vulnerable developing countries can foster their investment and growth.
Development and peace are interlinked. We cannot deny the centrality of development in the peace and security discourse. SDGs have opened a window of opportunity for undertaking collective actions to address the global challenges posed by poverty, hunger, diseases, climate change, disasters, water insecurity, conflicts. Let us seize this opportunity
I thank you Mr. Chair.