Focusing on the implementation process of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh a group of individuals has set up the “Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh”. The objective of the national platform is to contribute to the delivery of the SDGs and enhance accountability in the process. Keeping, particular focus on Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, this platform will monitor the overall SDG implementation process from national to local level, and provide necessary observations to ensure that the process is on track.
While announcing the formal launch of the national platform at media briefing at the CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka on 18 June 2016, the Convenor of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow of CPD said that that the platform will sensitise the policymakers about the challenges towards SDG implementation with effective in resource management. It will also look into the implementation process to seek required transparency, accountability and proper flow of information.
He introduced the Core Group Members, the Partners and the advisory group of the Platform with the media. The Core Group Members of the platform included Ms Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation; Ms Rasheda K Chowdhury, Executive Director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE); Dr Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, Vice Chairperson of BRAC; Mr Asif Ibrahim, Chairman of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD); Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh; Advocate Sultana Kamal, Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra; and Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of CPD were present at the launching. CPD will be the Secretariat of the platform.
The 13-member Advisory Group Members of the platform includes Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Professor Anisuzzaman, Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Mr Syed Manzur Elahi, Dr Hameeda Hossain, Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud, Artist Mustafa Monwar, Ms Rokeya Afzal Rahman, Raja Debashis Roy, Ms Srimoti Saha, Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Mr Shykh Seraj and Professor Rehman Sobhan.
Discussing the dynamics of the SDGs, Dr Bhattacharya observed that comparatively Bangladesh was in a better position than other developing nations regarding achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but there are many people still out there the struggling for their basic needs. We have to move forward with inclusive approaches to engage the deprived people with the development process. Keeping in view the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the slogan of the national platform will be ‘leave no one behind’, added Dr Bhattacharya.
He also mentioned that the platform will work in coordinated, constructive and harmonious manner with its stakeholders. It will conduct necessary research and analysis on the implementation process, share the findings with experts and in public dialogue, and influence the policymakers towards achieving the targets. At present 28 non-government and civil society organisations have joined the platform as Partners and they will contribute to the platform with their organisational and sectoral activities related to the SDGs, said Dr Bhattacharya.
Advocate Sultana Kamal observed that good governance and rule of law will be critical to achieve SDGs. The government needs to focus on strengthening institutional capacities to establish good governance which is important for development to sustain in a progressive and democratic country, she said.
Emphasising on inclusion of all categories of people with the SDG implementation Ms Rasheda K Chowdhury said that the platform is formed as part of our responsibilities as citizens of this country. She also mentioned that Bangladesh’s experience in MDG implementation which will be vital towards achieving SDGs.
Ms Shaheen Anam said that the platform will work not only with policymakers and national level organisations but also with the organisations and activists at the grassroot level. The accumulated knowledge from every level will be the key driving force of this platform. To ensure the moral, social and economic justice of the development process we have to reach out to the deprived people among us, she said.
Dr Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury focused on the platforms scope on strengthening cooperation among development organisations, government and donor agencies. This citizen’s platform will play the key role for such cooperation and contribute to the implementation process, he added.
Mr Asif Ibrahim emphasised on private sector investment in order to achieving SDGs. As part of corporate social responsibility the business community will work together with the platform. Their contribution will be to ensure establishing green factories towards protecting the environment in Bangladesh. It would be moral victory for Bangladesh’s private sector to contribute to this platform in achieving SDGs, said Mr Ibrahim.
Emphasising on accountability, transparency and good governance Dr Iftekharuzzaman said that these three elements are critical not only to achieve the Goal 16 but also for the entire SDGs. He mentioned that the national platform will work closely with the government and facilitate the SDG implementation process by providing information and data where necessary. To do so, it will praise government’s positive initiatives and criticise the mistakes as well. We hope that government will also extend their cooperation so that we can achieve SDGs, he added.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman mentioned that the platform will contribute to the government’s SDG implementation initiatives by provide research findings and analysis. It will review the progress and identify the loop-holes in the implementation of 17 targets and 169 goals of the SDGs so that the process is on track.
Representatives of the partner organisations also shared their opinions on the role and activities of the platform. The session ended with a Q&A session with the media.