Bangladesh Country Statement at the 52nd Session of the CPD General Debate under the Agenda Item 3 on Monday, 01 April 2019 Venue: CR-1, UNHQs
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We align ourselves with the Statement of the G-77 and China.
We appreciate the theme of this session which is about the linkages between ICPD POA and Agenda 2030. Essentially, the elements streaming from ICPD PoA have strong linkages with Agenda 2030 in the areas of universal health care, ending poverty, advancing education, increasing job opportunities, reducing inequalities etc.
The population of Bangladesh has increased five-folds, from about 29 million in 1901 to 170 million in 2018. We are now in the third stage of the demographic transition model defined by low birth rate and low death rate. Our efforts in health and family planning, education, women empowerment, and reducing child and maternal mortality and poverty led us to a “demographic window of opportunity” for reaping the benefits of a demographic dividend. Accordingly, we are making necessary investments in education, health, and employment generation for young people. We are also addressing the risks of elderly and other vulnerable population by providing different allowances and expanding coverage of our social safety net.
We have great success stories in achieving MDGs and we are right on track to achieve SDGs. Over the past decade, our socio-economic condition had improved remarkably. We have steadily maintained a growth rate of an average 7 % during this time which has now crossed 7.86%. The per capita income increased to US$ 1,909. Our life expectancy increased to 72 years. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina envisions transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. In this journey forward, we primarily depend on the youth which now constitutes 30% of our total population and the engagement of our women and girl to make real impact. We have solid policy frameworks under our perspective plan (2010-2021) and the 7th five-year plan. Essentially, we have blended the elements of our international commitments such as ICPD POA and Agenda 2030 in our national plans and actions through a whole of Government and a whole of Society approach.
While we are doing our part domestically, we have a long way to go to fully implement the ICPD POA. For that to happen, we must forge partnerships at regional and global levels. We believe, working together with our international partners particularly in the following action areas would make a difference:
First, addressing multidimensional nature of poverty by fostering accelerated, inclusive and resilient growth, increasing coverage and effectiveness of social protection, achieving gender parity, promoting financial inclusion, and providing stable macroeconomic environment.
Second, investing more to ensure better health coverage for our people. We have come up with successful model of community clinics in Bangladesh. But we are facing challenges in the areas of NCDs, drowning, ageing and geriatric diseases, infectious diseases, health effects of geo-climatic disasters and arsenicosis and re-emergence of traditional diseases such as Malaria and TB.
Third, putting adequate resources for investment in education, eliminating gender gaps, and creating skills for the people to adapt to the changing needs of the day.
Fourth, investing more for sexual and reproductive health for more access to modern methods of family planning, and for reducing child and maternal mortality.
Fifth, special care and opportunities that the elderly and the persons with different abilities in our society deserve.
Sixth, investing more in accurate and desegregated data by sex, age and geographic area for formulating right kind of policies for our people.
Seventh, we have given shelter and all possible human supports including health and family planning to nearly 1.1 million Rohyinga population. It has been a huge burden on Bangladesh. We gratefully acknowledge the support extended by the UN and other International organisation. We believe that the solution lies in their safe return to their mother land- Myanmar, as quickly as possible.
As we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ICPD Program of Action this year, this session offers us a tremendous opportunity to reflect upon our success and failure in implementing our shared promises. Rightfully, review and appraisal of the POA holds the key and the recommendations of the Secretary-General in his report in this regard are crucial for implementation of the POA. Yet, we must have a more robust institutional mechanism and we stand ready to engage with a wide range of national and international stakeholders to achieve that.
I thank you all.