Published: Monday, June 3, 2013

Bangladesh rolls out post-MDG recipe

Hasina urges developed world to increase support to achieve development goals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the National Consultation on Post-2015 Development Agenda, organised by the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday.  Photo: Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the National Consultation on Post-2015 Development Agenda, organised by the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday. Photo: Star

Bangladesh has identified 11 areas which the United Nations can write into its development goals for the world beyond 2015, once the Millennium Development Goals wrap up in two years’ time.
The first goal, titled “Unleash human potential for sustainable development” focuses on the people as the central element in the development process and touches on harnessing the potential of all segments of population.
The second goal “Eradicate poverty and reduce inequality” has set an ambitious target, as it plans to completely eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 and accelerate pro-poor growth for reducing inequality.
Shamsul Alam, a member of General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission, unveiled the goals at the National Consultation on Post- 2015 Development Agenda organised by the GED at the capital’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
He said “Ensuring sustainable food security and nutrition for all” has been drafted in as the third goal. It involves developing targets that ensure nutrition for pregnant women, safe food, diversification of food supply and promotion of dietary diversity.
The fourth goal — universal access to health and family planning services — targets ensuring basic health services and reproductive health rights, along with efforts to control, and if possible eliminate, non-communicable diseases and climate-induced diseases and development disorders.
Elimination of violence against female, child labour and ensuring role of women in decision-making process have been included in the fifth goal styled “Achieve gender equality”.
On education, the set of goals attaches importance to achieving 100 percent enrolment target in primary education, mainstreaming technical and vocational education and skills training, to prepare the youth for the increasingly competitive and complex job market.
The seventh goal of employment and social protection calls for creating opportunities for decent employment, legal framework on worker rights and equal wages for men and women.
Bangladesh has brought in new target styled “Ensure good governance”, which was, however, not included in the MDGs.
It will cover both global and local governance, along with strengthening the accountability and transparency of institutions, empowering people through effective implementation of right to information regimes and removing barriers to market access.
The tenth goal — Sustainable production and consumption patterns — targets sustainable use of resources for production and consumption pattern. It will also call for adoption of measures to ensure further efficiency.
The eleventh goal, which is also not part of the MDGs, has been named as “environmental sustainability and disaster management”.
Alam also said Bangladesh will formally forward it to the United Nations for consideration.
Speaking as chief guest, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the developed world to increase their support to achieve MDGs and the post-2015 targets.
“Due to reduction of overseas development assistance, many initiatives of the developing world did not have the desired result.”
The premier also called for utmost priority when faced with natural and manmade disasters in the post-2015 development agenda.
“The world should give the highest priority to the disaster risk reduction as well as climate change mitigation programmes.”
The world should find appropriate goals to achieve sustainable development, Hasina said. “We will also have to give emphasis on science, education and research.”
She also called for ensuring free access of commodities and services of the least developed countries to the markets of the developed world.
The prime minister said the countries across the world, the United Nations and other international and regional organisations have been discussing the pros and cons of the post-2015 development agenda.
“As an important partner of the discussion, Bangladesh has been contributing in developing the appropriate goals.”
Planning Minister AK Khandker, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and National Convenor of Rio+20 Drafting Committee Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, UN Resident Coordinator Thushara Fernando and Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, also spoke.