Statement by Mr. Md Showeb Abdullah, Counsellor at the 62nd Session of the Commission for Social Development, 12 February 2024 at Conference Room 4, UNHQs

Mr.  Chair,

Allow me to congratulate you and the bureau on your election. We assure the full support of Bangladesh delegation in the commission’s work this year.

Bangladesh delegation aligns itself with the statement of Group of 77 and China.

Owing to the interconnected nature of the world and its challenges, we are witnessing increased inequalities and divisions in our societies. Despite improvements in many aspects of social development, progress has slowed since 2015 and stagnated or reversed since 2020. If the current trend continues, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030 and only one third of countries will achieve target 1.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, of halving national poverty rates by 2030.

In view of that, the focus on this year’s priority theme, “Fostering social development and social justice through social policies”, is very timely.

We thank the Secretary-General for his report and take note of the recommendations highlighting the pathways for just, inclusive and effective social policies.


 Mr. Chair,

 Bangladesh has expanded social safety net programs as a tool to achieve social justice both in terms of allocation and coverage. 16.7 percent of our national budget is earmarked for social security programs. We have introduced a nationwide Universal Pension Scheme. We have undertaken projects called ‘Ashrayan’ to address homelessness and to compensate people rendered homeless due to climate change and disasters. Our community-based health clinics project in grassroot level has been recognized by the UNGA. Our investments in education, particularly girls’ education has given us dividend in achieving gender parity in primary education.

Moreover, we prioritized digitalization as a tool to overcome the challenges, foster equitable opportunities, and ultimately realize the profound social justice that leads to inclusive growth and development; through “Digital Bangladesh” campaign. It enabled us to Digitalization ensuring people’s access to services in healthcare, education, court, banking, and e-commerce – all from their homes

To emerge as a model of citizen-centric services, Bangladesh has taken initiatives including Digital Centres, National Helpline-333, the newly launched 333-4 for environmental complaints, e-mutation, Teacher’s Portal, and digital one-stop platforms to enable people to get different government services.

With our ‘Smart Bangladesh 2041’ vision, we envision to harness technology and innovation for economic progress, and embrace the massive potentials triggered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for social justice and equitable development.


Mr. Chair,

 Allow me to highlight some specific points:

First, the current global education crisis is pushing millions of children and youth into the vicious cycle of poverty. In this regard, we need comprehensive efforts, including increased investment in education infrastructure and digital literacy – one that ensures equitable access to education for all, regardless of gender, socio-economic status, or geographic location.

Second, the escalating climate crisis has already exacerbated inequalities and jeopardized our global sustainability efforts. Due to its impacts, an estimated population of 1.2 billion could be globally displaced by 2050. Mitigating the climate crisis will necessitate collective action on an unprecedented scale, involving ambitious financial and technological transfer measures with locally-led adaptation measures to build resilience and wellbeing of the vulnerable population.

Third, it is critical to address the widespread disparities in access to healthcare services. Vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by health emergencies including the pandemic, particularly in climate vulnerable areas and conflict zones.

Fourth, we refer to the recommendation of the Secretray General to place social considerations at the heart of development frameworks by joining-up social, economic and environmental policies. It is important to take proactive measures, implementing policies to provide food assistance, cash transfers, and food-for-work programs, supported by social safety net initiatives aimed at assisting vulnerable populations including the elderly, ultra-poor, disabled individuals, migrants, and impoverished women.

Fifth, it is critical to address the gender disparity, particularly affecting women working in the informal sector. To effectively address this gender gap, there is a pressing need for enhanced global efforts, including ensuring women’s complete and equitable involvement in all spheres of society.

Finally, Mr. Chair, we would like to welcome the proposal of the Secretary General to convene a World Social Summit in 2025. We believe the Summit would offer the opportunity to review gaps and progress in advancing a people-centered approach to development, as called for in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development as well as in the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, and as a means of accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

I thank you, Mr. Chair.