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At present more than one third of the population of Bangladesh belong to the youth cohort, aged between 18-35 years. It is high time for the country to utilise this young cohort towards national development while the country is in the pursuit of realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. If empowered and utilised properly, the youth will the lead the nation to achieve the SDGs.

These observations were made at a seminar today Monday 1 April 2019 titled Global Development Agenda 2030 and Bangladesh in Tangail. The seminar was organised by the Department of Economics, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University (MBSTU), Tangail in association with Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.

Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, CPD, and Mr Towfiqul Islam Khan, Senior Research Fellow, CPD, jointly made the keynote presentation at the seminar, which was Chaired by Dr Md. Muniruzzaman Muzib, Chairman, Department of Economics, MBSTU.

In his presentation, Dr Bhattacharya, highlighted that the SDGs talks about the qualitative changes in development rather than traditional quantitative assessment. It talks about a transformative change and therefore, the 17 goals of the SDGs are interlinked with each other. If we have to achieve this ambitious global development agenda by 2030 we have to engage all relevant stakeholders with the implementation process. In this case, engaging the youth with the delivery of SDGs will be critical as they will be in the driving seats soon in leading the development process of the country.

Mr Khan underscored the lack of data availability and need for aligning the national development policies in line with the SDGs. He noted that though the government has formulated the Seventh Five Year Plan in alignment with the SDGs, there are still rooms for bringing coherence among the national policies with the SDGs.

Professor Dr Md. Alauddin, Vice Chancellor and Dr Mohammad Khademul Islam, Dean, Faculty of Social Science, MBSTU, delivered their remarks at the event, as Chief Guest and Special Guest respectively.

The seminar was participated by the students and faculty of the MBSTU.