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Professor Mustafizur Rahman on the SDGs

Achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh will require a “strong and effective” institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders, including public representatives, government, private sector, civil society, knowledge community, and development partners.

CPD Executive Director Professor Mustafizur Rahman speaking on “Bangladesh: Learning from MDGs and Lessons for SDGs” at the seminar on "Moving from MDGs to SDGs: Bangladesh Experience and Expectation," organised by BIISS on 17 September 2015.
CPD Executive Director Professor Mustafizur Rahman speaking on “Bangladesh: Learning from MDGs and Lessons for SDGs” at the seminar on “Moving from MDGs to SDGs: Bangladesh Experience and Expectation,” organised by BIISS on 17 September 2015.

 

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Published in The Financial Express on Saturday, 19 September 2015.

Financing crucial to implementation of SDGs, says CPD chief

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, has said an important issue over the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is how their implementation will be financed.

“Public finance–domestic resource mobilisation–and foreign aid are expected to continue to be central to supporting the implementation of the SDGs, but they will not be adequate,” argued CPD Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman in a paper.

He finds other potential sources of financing that include resources generated from the private sector, including remittances, crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption, trade and market access and foreign direct investment.

In a paper titled ‘Learning from the MDGs: Lessons for the SDGs,’ the CPD Executive Director said more ambition and efforts are required on the part of the national, regional and international communities. “It’s important to sensitise national policies in line with SDGs,” he said in a paper obtained by UNB.

New areas of SDGs –cities and human settlements, ecosystem and biodiversity — will call for greater efforts and resources at the country level, said the economist.

A total of 17 Goals with 169 associated Targets will come into effect on January 1, 2016 and will guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years.

The member states, including Bangladesh will commit to work towards implementing the agenda within their own countries and at the regional and global levels.

Over 160 heads of State and Government, together with leaders of civil society and the private sector, will gather at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York for the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda on September 25-27, 2015.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with 60-member official delegation is scheduled to leave Dhaka for New York on September 23 to attend the summit and the 70th UNGA.

Prof Rahman said achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh will require a “strong and effective” institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders, including public representatives, government, private sector, civil society, knowledge community, and development partners.

The CPD chief noted concerns have been raised about the sheer breadth and ambition of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the feasibility of monitoring them and tracking actual progress within countries.

“If monitoring of eight MDGs, 20 targets and 60 indicators has posed serious challenges at the national level, how about 17 SDGs, 169 targets and over 300 indicators?,” he questioned.

Prof Rahman thinks the capacity of national statistics office and other government agencies will be tested and they need to perform as per requirement.

“Accessibility, quality and timeliness of data will be critical. To fix a reference year will be a challenge,” he said, adding that rapid technological progress should be put into effective use.

In contrast to the MDGs, consultation process of SDGs was more inclusive, and the SDGs framework is expected to go far beyond the MDGs, Dr Rahman said. “In this context, one may look back to the learnings from MDGs experience for the purpose of drawing lessons for the implementation of SDGs.”

On the other hand, the United Nations will have a strong monitoring and review system on progress and implementation stages of 17 SDGs to be adopted in a special summit in New York on September 25-27.

“We’ll have monitoring and review system which will provide everyone with data in a transparent manner,” said Thomas Gass, UN Assistant

Secretary General (ASG) for Policy Coordination, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Thomas said the goal ’16’ of the SDGs speaks to peaceful, inclusive society, better access to justice and better governance. “This is a crucial goal and it was hotly debated.”

He also said it is very important as the Agenda 2030 is being rolled out at the national level that dialogue also speaks to these issues. “That is how it is going to happen. Progress is really achieved when people hold their leaders accountable.”

The UN official said if any country wants to hide completely what is happening, then the international committee can of course have access to that information.

Responding to a question, Thomas said the private sector has played a very constructive role in the discussions and negotiations over the last 2-3 years. “Everybody should develop its own strategy for sustainable development and the private sector will play a crucial role.”

Specifically on Bangladesh, he said sustainable “decent work” has to be created for male and female to eradicate poverty. “Building the economic resilience, getting private sector on board is very crucial.”

He said companies know they have everything to gain from predictable and more level playing field.

Describing the importance of the summit, the UN official said the world leaders are not coming to New York for celebration, rather they are coming to promise something for their people.

Responding to another question, the UN official said the UN will continue to support those countries that wish to get. “We’re strongly encouraging countries statistics offices to closely work with the civil society.”

He also mentioned there will be an annual programme in which countries will be able to make presentations on the progress on goals and targets of SDGs.

 

Published in The Financial Express

Income inequality hits poverty eradication
SDGs to focus more on capacity building: FM
FE Report

Despite many successes in the field of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the country is still far from attaining the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger because of income inequality prevailing in the society.

Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka expressed this view on Thursday.

In some cases, income inequality and disparities are seen on the rise among various population groups, especially among the backward and downtrodden, the seminar was told.

To overcome the challenge, they urged the government to take policy measures to reduce inequality, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth with full productive employment and decent work for all.

“Income inequality has direct effect on poverty reducing activities,” said Dr. Binayak Sen, Research Director, the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) while presenting the keynote paper at the seminar.

He stressed the need for policy intervention in this regard.

“Without attention to the underlying economic, social, cultural and spatial causes of poverty and inequality, the post-2015 development agenda will not ensure a level-playing field or achieve lasting inclusive progress,” said the economist.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, who attended the programme as the chief guest, stressed the need for forging a consensus among all to save the planet by taking some bold, ambitious and sustainable measures right now or never.

“Much of our hard-earned development gains are likely to be washed away unless we can forge consensus to save our planet by taking some bold, ambitious and sustainable measures,” he said.

He said there is a critical need for investing in enhanced capacity building for data collection and analysis to promote effective monitoring and evaluation.

“The lack of sufficient data has posed considerable challenge in tracking progress in certain MDG targets, which needs to be duly taken note of while designing the measurable indicators under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the seminar titled “Moving from MDGs to SDGs: Bangladesh Experience and Expectation” at its auditorium on Thursday, a day after unveiling of the report on the Bangladesh Progress Report on MDGs.

The General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission released the report on Wednesday.

According to the report, Bangladesh has made impressive progress in poverty reduction, health, education and gender equity, but is facing challenges of creating jobs, preserving ecology and ensuring nutrition.

It pointed out fund shortages and climate change as severe threats to achieving the remaining goals.

According to the MDG Declaration in 2000, the employment rate of a country’s population, aged 15 years and above, should have been 100 per cent by now, but it is only 57.1 per cent in Bangladesh. The rate was 48.5 per cent in 1990-91.

To get more benefits from the SDGs, CPD Executive Director Dr Mustafizur Rahman called for greater efforts and resources at the country level. He also stressed the need for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The government is now preparing Bangladesh’s proposal on Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) as post-2015 development agenda which will be placed before the United Nations.  The implementation period for SDA has been proposed to be a decade and a half (2016-2030).

As regards the SDGs, the minister, however, said: “We’re even further advanced since we’ve already initiated measures to incorporate the goals into our Seventh Five Year Plan under the broader framework of our Perspective Plan 2010-21.”

Presided over by BIISS Board of Governors’ Chairman Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, the inaugural session was addressed among others by BIISS Director General AKM Abdur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and BIISS Senior Research Fellow Dr Mahfuz Kabir.

 

Published in The Independent

Funding main challenge: CPD
Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals

Staff Correspondent

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, said an important issue over the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is how their implementation will be financed, reports UNB. “Public finance—domestic resource mobilisation—and foreign aid are expected to continue to be central to supporting the implementation of the SDGs, but they will not be adequate,” said CPD Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman. He finds other potential sources of financing that include resources generated from the private sector, including remittances, crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption, trade and market access and foreign direct investment.

In a paper obtained by the news agency titled ‘Learning from the MDGs: Lessons for the SDGs’ the CPD executive director said much more ambition and effort is required on the part of the national, regional and international communities.

“It’s important to sensitise national policies in line with SDGs.” New areas of SDGs—cities and human settlements, ecosystem and biodiversity—will call for greater efforts and resources at the country level, said the economist.

A total of 17 goals with 169 associated targets will come into effect on January 1, 2016 and will guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years. The member states, including Bangladesh will commit to work towards implementing the agenda within their own countries and at the regional and global levels.

Over 160 heads of state and government, together with leaders of civil society and the private sector, will gather at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York for the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda on September 25-27 September 2015.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with 60-member official delegation is scheduled to leave here for New York on September 23 to attend the summit and 70th UNGA.

Prof Rahman said achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh will require a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders, including public representatives, government, private sector, civil society, knowledge community, and development partners.

About public representatives, he referred both central and local and government means both executive and bureaucracy. The economist mentioned that concerns have been raised about the sheer breadth and ambition of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the feasibility of monitoring them and tracking actual progress within countries. “If monitoring of 8 MDGs, 20 targets and 60 indicators have posed serious challenges at the national level, how about 17 SDGs, 169 targets and over 300 indicators?,” he said.

Prof Rahman thinks the capacity of national statistics office and other government agencies will be tested and they need to perform as per requirement. “Accessibility, quality and timeliness of data will be critical. To fix a reference year will be a challenge,” he said adding that rapid technological progress should be put into effective use.

In contrast to the MDGs, SDGs consultation process was more inclusive, and the SDGs framework is expected to go far beyond the MDGs, the CPD economist observed. “In this context, one may look back to the learnings from MDGs experience for the purposes of drawing lessons for the SDGs implementation.”

On the other hand, the United Nations will have a strong monitoring and review system on progress and implementation stages of 17 SDGs to be adopted in a special summit in New York on September 25-27.

 

Published in The UNB

Financing mechanism for SDGs an important question: CPD
‘BD requires strong, effective institutional mechanism to implement SDGs’

Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) – Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, has said an important issue over the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is how their implementation will be financed.

“Public finance — domestic resource mobilisation — and foreign aid are expected to continue to be central to supporting the implementation of the SDGs, but they will not be adequate,” said CPD Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman.

He finds other potential sources of financing that include resources generated from the private sector, including remittances, crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption, trade and market access and foreign direct investment.

In a paper obtained by UNB titled ‘Learning from the MDGs: Lessons for the SDGs’ the CPD Executive Director said much more ambition and effort is required on the part of the national, regional and international communities. “It’s important to sensitise national policies in line with SDGs.”

New areas of SDGs –cities and human settlements, ecosystem and biodiversity — will call for greater efforts and resources at the country level, said the economist.

A total of 17 Goals with 169 associated Targets will come into effect on January 1, 2016 and will guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years.

The member states, including Bangladesh will commit to work towards implementing the agenda within their own countries and at the regional and global levels.

Over 160 heads of State and Government, together with leaders of civil society and the private sector, will gather at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York for the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda on September 25-27 September 2015.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with 60-member official delegation is scheduled to leave here for New York on September 23 to attend the summit and 70th UNGA.

Prof Rahman said achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh will require a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders, including public representatives, government, private sector, civil society, knowledge community, and development partners.

About public representatives, he referred both central and local and government means both executive and bureaucracy.

The economist mentioned that concerns have been raised about the sheer breadth and ambition of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the feasibility of monitoring them and tracking actual progress within countries. “If monitoring of 8 MDGs, 20 targets and 60 indicators have posed serious challenges at the national level, how about 17 SDGs, 169 targets and over 300 indicators?,” he said.

Prof Rahman thinks the capacity of national statistics office and other government agencies will be tested and they need to perform as per requirement.

“Accessibility, quality and timeliness of data will be critical. To fix a reference year will be a challenge,” he said adding that rapid technological progress should be put into effective use.

In contrast to the MDGs, SDGs consultation process was more inclusive, and the SDGs framework is expected to go far beyond the MDGs, the CPD economist observed. “In this context, one may look back to the learnings from MDGs experience for the purposes of drawing lessons for the SDGs implementation.”

On the other hand, the United Nations will have a strong monitoring and review system on progress and implementation stages of 17 SDGs to be adopted in a special summit in New York on September 25-27.

“We’ll have monitoring and review system which will provide everyone with data in a transparent manner,” said Thomas Gass, UN Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Policy Coordination, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Thomas said the goal ’16’ of the SDGs speaks to peaceful inclusive society, better access to justice and better governance. “This is a crucial goal and it was hotly debated.”

He also said it is very important as the Agenda 2030 is being rolled out at national level that dialogue also speaks to these issues. “That is how it is going to happen. Progress is really achieved when people hold their leaders accountable.”

The UN official said if any country wants to hide completely what is happening then the international committee can of course have access to that information.

Responding to a question from UNB, Thomas said the private sector has played a very constructive role in the discussions and negotiations over the last 2-3 years. “Everybody should develop its own strategy for sustainable development and the private sector will play a crucial role.”

Specifically on Bangladesh, he said sustainable decent works have to be created for male and female to eradicate poverty. “Building the economic resilient, getting private sector on board is very crucial.”

The UN official also said the private sector these days is realizing at the global level that it has to participate in making the environment more stable. He said the companies know they have everything to gain from predictable and more level playing field.

Describing the importance of the summit, the UN official said the world leaders are not coming here for celebrations rather they are coming here to promise to their people around the world.

Responding to another question, the UN official said the UN will continue to support those countries who wish to get. “We’re strongly encouraging countries statistics offices to closely work with the civil society.”

He also mentioned that there will be an annual programme in which countries will be able to make presentations on the progress on goals and targets of SDGs.

This bold and ambitious agenda aims to end poverty and promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment over the next 15 years.

 

Published in The Inquilab

এসডিজি অর্জনেও সফল হবে বাংলাদেশ            

কূটনৈতিক সংবাদদাতা

টেকসই উন্নয়ন লক্ষ্যমাত্রা (এসডিজি) পূরণে রাজনৈতিক অঙ্গীকার প্রয়োজন। সহ¯্রাব্দ উন্নয়ন লক্ষ্যমাত্রা (এমডিজি) পূরণে আমরা এতটাই এগিয়ে যে, এখন বিশ্ব সম্প্রদায়কে আমরা বলতে পারি আন্তর্জাতিক যেকোনো প্রতিশ্রুতি পূরণে সক্ষম বাংলাদেশ। গতকাল বৃহস্পতিবার রাজধানীতে ‘এমডিজি থেকে এসডিজি: বাংলাদেশের অভিজ্ঞতা ও প্রত্যাশা’ শীর্ষক এক বিশেষ সেমিনারে পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী এ এইচ মাহমুদ আলী প্রথম সেশনে প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্যে একথা বলেন। বাংলাদেশ ইনস্টিটিউট অব ইন্টারন্যাশনাল অ্যান্ড স্ট্রাটেজিক স্টাডিজ (বিস্) এ সেমিনারের আয়োজন করে।অনুষ্ঠানের বিভিন্ন কর্ম অধিবেশনে আরও বক্তব্য দেন, প্রধানমন্ত্রীর আন্তর্জাতিক সম্পর্ক বিষয়ক উপদেষ্টা ড. গওহর রিজভী, পররাষ্ট্রপ্রতিমন্ত্রী মো. শাহরিয়ার আলম, পররাষ্ট্র সচিব মো. শহীদুল হক, অর্থনীতিবিদ কাজী খলীকুজ্জমান আহমদ, বাংলাদেশ উন্নয়ন গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠানের (বিআইডিএস) গবেষণা পরিচালক অর্থনীতিবিদ বিনায়ক সেন, ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ডেভেলপমেন্ট স্টাডিজের অধ্যাপক নিয়াজ আহমেদ খান, সেন্টার ফর পলিসি ডায়ালগের (সিপিডি) নির্বাহী পরিচালক মোস্তাফিজুর রহমান, বিস-এর মহাপরিচালক মেজর জেনারেল এ কে এম আবদুর রহমান, বিস-এর বোর্ড অব গভর্নরসের সদস্য রাষ্ট্রদূত মুন্সী ফয়েজ আহমেদ, বিস-এর সিনিয়র রিসার্চ ফেলো মাহফুজ কবীর প্রমুখ।পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী তার বক্তব্যে বলেন, শান্তি ও স্থিতিশীলতা টেকসই উন্নয়নের পূর্বশর্ত। দারিদ্র্য দূরীকরণ, উন্নয়নের সুফলকে কাজে লাগানো এবং স্থায়ী শান্তি ও সমৃদ্ধি প্রতিষ্ঠার মতো উপকরণগুলো এসডিজিতে রয়েছে। এ ছাড়া সংঘাত, সুশাসন ও মানবাধিকারের মতো বিষয়গুলোও সামাজিক ন্যায়বিচারের সঙ্গে সম্পৃক্ত করে এ লক্ষ্যমাত্রায় যুক্ত রয়েছে।তিনি বলেন, এসডিজি বাস্তবায়নের চ্যালেঞ্জগুলো নিয়ে আমাদের সচেতন থাকতে হবে। সাম্প্রতিক সময়ে সন্ত্রাস-সহিংসতা ও উগ্রবাদ বিশ্বশান্তির জন্য চ্যালেঞ্জ হয়ে দাঁড়িয়েছে। জলবায়ু পরিবর্তনের অভিঘাতও একটি বড় চ্যালেঞ্জ। এ সবকে মোকাবিলা করে উন্নয়নের সুফলগুলোকে কাজে লাগানোর জন্য বিশ্ব সম্প্রদায়ের ঐকমত্য জরুরি।ড. গওহর রিজভী বলেন, এমডিজি বাস্তবায়নের দিক থেকে বাংলাদেশ ভালো অবস্থানে রয়েছে। এসডিজিতেও আমরা সফল হব। তবে এ সাফল্যের জন্য বৃহত্তর ও সমতাভিত্তিক অংশীদারত্ব জরুরি। এ ছাড়া লক্ষ্য বাস্তবায়নে উন্নত দেশগুলোর অঙ্গীকার ও সহযোগিতা গুরুত্বপূর্ণ।বিনায়ক সেন আয়ের বৈষম্যের প্রেক্ষিতে শিক্ষা ও স্বাস্থ্য ক্ষেত্রে সমস্যার নানা দিক তুলে ধরেন। তিনি বলেন, আয়বৈষম্য দূরীকরণ এসডিজিতেও একটা চ্যালেঞ্জ হিসেবে থাকবে। এ জন্য বিষয়টিকে গুরুত্ব দিয়ে পরিকল্পনা তৈরি করতে হবে।মোস্তাফিজুর রহমান বলেন, এসডিজি ব্যাপক, রূপান্তরযোগ্য, সংহত এবং বৈশ্বিক প্রেক্ষিতে তৈরি। এর লক্ষ্যগুলো বাস্তবায়নের সময় নাগরিক অধিকারের প্রেক্ষিতগুলো মাথায় রেখে পরিকল্পনা নিতে হবে। তিনি বলেন, এসডিজি অর্জনের জন্য মানবাধিকার ও জেন্ডার সমতার বিষয়গুলো উপলব্ধি করা পথনির্দেশকের মতো কাজ করে। এগুলো নির্ভর করে উন্নয়নের সামাজিক, অর্থনৈতিক ও পরিবেশগত ভারসাম্যের ওপর।উল্লেখ্য, এমডিজির মেয়াদ শেষ হচ্ছে এ বছরের ডিসেম্বরে। ২০১৬ সালের প্রথম দিন থেকে এমডিজির পরিবর্তে বিশ্ব সম্প্রদায়ের নতুন উন্নয়ন লক্ষ্য হবে ১৫ বছর মেয়াদি এসডিজি। ২৫ থেকে ২৭ সেপ্টেম্বর জাতিসংঘে অনুষ্ঠেয় শীর্ষ সম্মেলনে ২০১৫ সাল-পরবর্তী এ উন্নয়ন কর্মসূচি গৃহীত হবে। এমডিজিতে ৮টি লক্ষ্যমাত্রা থাকলেও এসডিজিতে ১৭টি লক্ষ্য নির্ধারণ করা হয়েছে।

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