The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is in its fourth year of implementation and in this journey the non-state actors are playing an important role alongside the government. But for implementation of the global agenda by 2030, the government and non-government initiatives need to put in collective and coordinated efforts. Analysis of the data in the progress reports of six SDGs prepared by Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh shows that in absence of coordinated efforts, achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh will fail to reach the desired level. Learnings from such review reports should be used to accelerate the SDGs implementation in the future.
These opinions emerged from a national consultation titled, Citizens Conclave: Four Years of SDGs in Bangladesh. The day-long conclave was organised by the Citizen’s Platform on Saturday 27 April 2019 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), Dhaka. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) as the Secretariat of the Platform executed the event along with over 100 other partner organisations of the Platform.
The conclave was organised before the meeting of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development 2019 which will be held during July 2019 in New York. This year the theme of the HLPF meeting is “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The set of the goals which will be reviewed are – Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequality, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD, presented the Overview Report at the Opening Plenary of the event. The Overview Report, prepared by the CPD, also included inputs drawn from individual reports on the six pre-identified goals. In her presentation, Dr Khatun highlighted the importance of disaggregated data lack of which hampers the efficacy of SDG implementation. She suggested that the government policies should be more in line with the SDGs implementation and also gave some key recommendations required to fast-track the SDG implementation process.
At the Opening Plenary, Ms Rasheda K Choudhury, Executive Director, Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) and Core Group Member of the Platform, gave an introduction of the initiative. Mr M A Mannan, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Planning, as the Chief Guest and Ms Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and Representative, UNDP Bangladesh as the Guest of Honour, were present at the session. CPD’s Distinguished Fellow and the Convenor of the Citizen’s Platform, Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, chaired the session.
Six goal groups, formed from among the partner organisations of the Platform, prepared the reports on the progress of the six goals in Bangladesh. Major highlights from the reports were shared with the participants in six separate sessions held parallelly at the conclave. Experts and stakeholders of the relevant goal areas exchanged their views in these sessions.
Dr Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division (GED), Planning Commission and Mr Md Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were Special Guests at the Closing Plenary. Mr Sudipto Mukherjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, and Mr K. M. Abdus Salam, Director General (Additional Secretary), NGO Affairs Bureau, Prime Minister’s Office, made their remarks as the Guests of Honour. Advocate Sultana Kamal, Core Group Member of the Citizen’s Platform, chaired the Closing Plenary and introductory comments were made by Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya. One of the Co-Chairs from each parallel session also shared a summary of the discussion from their corresponding sessions in this session.
Over 700 people from across the country participated at the day-long event. Participants at the conclave comprised of government officials, development workers, private sector representatives, researchers, academics and youth representatives. A large number of journalists from the print and electronic media were also present at the event.