Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Plenary of the Second Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda item 20: Sustainable Development
(15 October 2018, CR-2, UNHQs)
Distinguished Delegates,At the outset, I would like to align with the statements delivered by Egypt, as the Chair of the G77, and Malawi, as the Chair of LDCs. We will limit our statement to sub items (c) and (d) under this agenda item 20.
The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development will largely depend on our success in halting global climate change and reduce disaster risks. We express our deep concern at the findings of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warning of 1.5 degree Celsius that warn us about the dangerous consequences that would follow particularly in the areas of poverty eradication, food security and public health if we fail to limit the global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. It is high time that we renew our efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework to their true letter and spirit.
Bangladesh is one of the 10 most climate vulnerable countries in the world. Climate change poses an existential threat to our 160 million people, although we had hardly contributed to the deterioration of the environment.
Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her Government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement at the High Level Leaders’ Dialogue convened by the Secretary General during the High-Level Week and said, “Bangladesh will never exceed the average per capita emission of the developing world. Our commitment to low-carbon, climate-resilient development is firm. We plan to move to ‘Carbon budgeting’, resilient industrialization. We wish to ‘de-carbonize’ our ‘manufacturing pathways’. These are principles which guide all our development plans and actions.”
As part of our commitment to the Paris Agreement, Bangladesh submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions in 2016. At the national level, we have mainstreamed climate actions and disaster management in our national planning and sustainable development strategy. Over 1 percent of our GDP is being used to tackle climate change. US$ 450 million has been allocated from our own resources for adaptation and mitigation purposes. To ensure food security for our people, we have been investing in transforming our agriculture and making it more resilient to the impacts of climate change and disasters. Initiatives have been taken to increase tree coverage from 22% to 24% in the next five years. A project worth 50 million dollar is being implemented for the conservation of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Bangladesh has integrated its development programmes and efforts to build capacity for combating climate change into a mega project titled Delta Plan 2100. It has been developed in consideration of the local geo-morphology and of global climate change impact. Bangladesh is the only country in the world that has adopted such a long-term development plan spanning 82 years.
Considering the disaster-proneness of the country, our Government adopted a scientific as well as inclusive approach to disaster risk reductions that included hazard identification and mitigation, community preparedness and integrated response efforts. We have set up Disaster Management Information Centers with communications links to all high-risk areas in the country and taken initiatives to evaluate the hazards, risks and vulnerabilities of communities, including earthquake risk assessments for the major cities in Bangladesh, and tsunami and storm surge risk mapping for the entire coastline, which feed into city planning and emergency response services. Taken together, these initiatives have significantly increased the nation’s capacity to respond proactively to disasters.
The second International Conference on Disability and Disaster Risk Management was hosted by the Government of Bangladesh in Dhaka in May 2018. The Dhaka Declaration 2015+ outlines specific actions to strengthen engagement in local, national and regional multi-stakeholder platforms and intergovernmental initiatives to implement the Sendai Framework for persons living with disabilities and the establishment of effective mechanisms and guidelines.
While we have been making efforts mostly with our own resources, it is essential that our development partners provide financial resources and ensure technology transfer to assist us with respect to mitigation and adaptation and disaster risk reduction. During this session of the General Assembly we should have a more focused discussion on climate finance and climate justice to put the world on track to meet pre-2020 ambition and long-term goals of Paris Agreement.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.