Remarks by Mr. Md. Faruk Hossain, Minister, Bangladesh Mission to the UN at the informal on the Zero Draft of the SDG Summit Political Declaration, New York, 16 May 2023, Trusteeship Council

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

At the outset, we thank the co-facilitators-the distinguished ambassadors of Ireland and Qatar- for sharing the zero draft for the consideration of the member states. In our initial assessment, the draft represents a good basis of negotiations for a clear, concise, and action-oriented outcome document in a transparent and inclusive manner.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement made Cuba on behalf of the Group of G77 and China. We would like to make the following initial remarks in our national capacity:

First, as some other delegations have already mentioned, we find omission of several important SDGs in the document. For example, in paragraphs 11, 12, and 13 of section one, titled ‘Our Shared Resolve’, reference has been made to a select number of SDGs including goals 1 to 8, 10 and 13. However, there is no reference to goals no. 9, 11,12, 14, 15, and 16. In fact, not only in section one, in other sections as well, we find no or only a passing mention of important SDG goals such as industry, innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; responsible production and consumption; life below water and on land; and peace, justice and strong institutions. Although the section has rightly mentioned that the SDGs are integrated and indivisible, inadequate focus on several important SDGs leaves the possibility of important gaps and challenges being left out and unaddressed.


Second, in section two titled ‘Our changed world – progress and remaining gaps and challenges’, the gaps and challenges identified are inadequate and relate to only a handful of SDGs. We find it difficult to understand the rationale of this selectivity.  There is also a clear disconnect between the challenges identified in this section and actions recommended in section three. For example, crises of migration and forced displacement, the cost-of-living crisis, conflicts and instability, and our fragmented and insufficient ability to prevent and resolve conflicts and to build resilient, peaceful, just and inclusive societies have been rightly recognized as among issues derailing progress on the SDGs. However, when we read section three titled ‘Call to action – turning our world towards 2030’ we don’t see any actions recommended to address these challenges.


Some elements of para 20 that talks about the crises of migration and forced displacement and para 25 that recognizes the positive role and contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development appear to be contradictory and their inclusion in the same section may be reconsidered.


My third and final point relates to section three titled ‘calls to action.’ While some calls for actions in this section refer to goals such as goal 10 in para 35, goals 2,4,5, 6 and 7 in para 36, there are also many standalone recommendations that do not relate to any preceding discussions on gaps and challenges discussed in section two, nor to any other specific SDG goals. In certain cases, what has been identified as necessary for achieving a specific SDG goal is in fact essential for achieving all other SDG goals and vice versa. For example, the mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation has been emphasized in relation to goal 1, which is good,  but resource mobilization and development cooperation are also necessary for the implementation of most SDG goals if not all, and this focus is missing in the document.


Distinguished co-facilitators,

With these few points, we once again thank you for sharing the zero draft that appears to be a good basis of negotiations. As we move forward, you may count on my delegation’s active engagement in our collective efforts to find convergence for a strong SDG summit outcome document.

I thank you.