Statement by H.E. Muhammad Abdul Muhith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the Second Committee General Discussion of Agenda Item 18: Sustainable Development, New York, 09 October 2023, CR-2

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statements of G77 and China and the LDC Group.

Since 2015, Bangladesh has made steady progress in implementing the SDGs, building on its experience of MDGs. We are working through a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to implement SDG targets. In 2022, Bangladesh ranked 104 among 163 countries in the SDGs progress report. We just published the third ‘SDG: Bangladesh Progress Report 2022,’ which helped us track our progress made over the years and challenges faced, and the way forward.

Mr. Chair,

Like the rest of the world, our SDG progress has faced setbacks since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. A series of cascading crises thereafter causing market shocks, inflation, supply chain disruptions, food, energy and financial crises and global economic downturns further impacted our SDG implementation.

Mr. Chair,

Despite challenges, Bangladesh is ‘on track with a few important goals such as ‘no poverty’ and ‘quality education’. Our government’s foremost priority has been to combat poverty and hunger. We have brought down extreme poverty to 5.6% in 2022 from 25.1% in 2006. We are reforming our education system with a focus on critical thinking, skills, and STEM education. Our girls and women are making their mark in all spheres of politics, economy, and society. The Global Gender Gap Report 2022 by the World Economic Forum has ranked Bangladesh 71 out of 146 countries.


Mr. Chair,

Much of Bangladesh’s success in SDG progress owes to our government’s early policy intervention and investment in SDGs. We integrated the SDGs into our national plans, programmes, and strategies as a priority. A comprehensive SDG action plan has been aligned with our long-term economic plans. An SDG monitoring and evaluation framework, an SDG financing strategy, an SDG Data Gap Analysis, and an SDG online tracker have been put in place to facilitate and monitor SDG progress.

Our government is currently spending nearly $1 billion a year on climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, mostly funded through domestic resources. Bangladesh registered a positive change for 20 out of the 92 environment-related SDG indicators. We are a global leader in disaster management and early warning systems.

Bangladesh is committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. Our community clinic model has set an example for people-centric primary health care. Our government has delivered on its commitment to provide electricity to 100% of households. We have increased social protection beneficiaries from 13% of our population to 37.6% between 2005 and 2022.

Bangladesh is also improving its performance against several goals including clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; and sustainable cities and communities. Bangladesh government’s flagship housing project, ‘Ashrayan’ is a model of addressing homelessness, sustainable housing and community empowerment.

Madam President,

Despite considerable SDG progress Bangladesh achieved, gaps in policy coherence and coordination among national and local efforts, limited awareness of the SDGs at the subnational level and challenges related to the availability of data impede our overall SDG implementation.

Resource constraints, capacity deficit, lack of access to low-cost, long-term, concessional financing for development, lack of technology, debt distress, and inadequate climate actions are also hindering our progress. Necessary reforms of the international financial architecture, including SDR allocation and debt treatment, and fulfillment of ODA and climate commitments and stronger climate actions by developed economies can provide financial support to developing countries for SDG implementation.

The international community must rally behind developing countries as they are disproportionately affected by the interlinked global crises. The world needs bold, ambitious and transformative actions, anchored in international solidarity and partnerships, as envisaged in SDG 17, to help developing countries overcome the barriers to achieving the SDGs.

I thank you.