Dhaka, 08 April 2017. A group of 23 Rights Based Civil Society Network has urged the government for effective and pragmatic strategic actions to reduce inequalities towards the realization of the SDGs. Strengthened democracy with inclusiveness are also must to achieve the SDGs in Bangladesh, they opined. The group placed these suggestions and demand from a press conference held today in the National Press Club.
The press conference titled “SDGs in Bangladesh: The Missing Links and where International Assistance is our Legitimate Right” was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, while Syed Aminul Hoque from the same organization presented the key notes on behalf of the network. Among others Rafiqul Islam of Dwip Unnayan Sangstha, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Dr. Mesbah Uddin Ahmed of jatyo Sramik Jote, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh krishak Federation, Md. Shahidullah of Jono Odhayan Kendro and Subal Sarkar of Bangaldesh Bhumihin Somity also spoke at the occasion.
In his key note presentation, Syed Aminul Hoque said, Corruption is one of the major problem in achieving the SDGs, since corruption is eating around 2% GDP which is hampering the development effectiveness. We should reduce corruption and save public resources. Any idea of limiting the space for free and fair election, free media, independence of judiciary, rule of law, autonomous local government and independence of different constitutional commission will hamper the accountable development. So government should be sincere in strengthening the democracy if sustainable development is a visional.
Aminur Rasul Babul echoed Syed Aminul Haque, he said, various honest initiative of the present government is being destroyed by the corruption. Government is trying to increase employment, but employment without bribe has become almost impossible. Rafiqul Islam said, Coastal People are getting less integration and priority in govt. national plan despite having a major contribution to our GDP. That’s why poverty is shifting from north to west zone. He also said, around 6 million people would displace from their homes in upcoming decades. Special attention for coastal people is must. Dr, Mesbah Uddin Ahmed said, SDGs cannot be achieved without the effective participation of the laborers. Laborer must get proper wages considering their livelihood. Zayed Iqbal Khan said, Bangladesh is still an agriculture based country, but farmers are not getting their just price for the product. Agriculture based industry should be get priority for SDG. Md. Shahidullah Said, We observed that during the MDGs periods rich countries did not fulfill their pledged in supporting the least developed countries. We are very much sceptic in the SDGs period. We should take our own plan with own resources. To mobilize own resources we should stop illicit financial flow. 1.2% of GDP in average/yr moving out through illicit financial flow during last decades. Subal Sarkar said, inequality among the poor and riches, among different regions must be addressed.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said, inclusion of CSOs in the SDGs achievement efforts can play a vital role. But CSO participation is yet to be facilitated by government through official process. Lack of policy space for CSOs; it is often less effective because government officials hardly pay proper importance to their role and contributions.
Please download related paper [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper] [Presentation- Syed Aminul Hoque]