Bangladesh has urged the world community to address the issue of funding for successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"Arranging necessary financing for infrastructure indeed has been identified as the single largest challenge in the successful implementation of the 2030 SDGs at the global level," State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told a discussion on 'Sustainability Day 2022', organised by the UN Global Compact Network Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Mr Alam said the momentum of implementing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development has been affected by many interlinked challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, Ukraine crisis and so on.
Issues like conflicts, inequality, intolerance, xenophobia, terrorism and forced displacements are threatening to reverse the progress made by the countries in recent decades, he further said.
Due to recent global food, energy and economic crises, the developing countries are facing more challenges to effectively implement all the targets of SDGs, the state minister observed.
"We are in fact also facing the challenge of adequate funding for the infrastructure development in the developing world…" he noted.
He told the discussion that Bangladesh submitted the second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of SDGs in 2020, and in the VNR, the country highlighted its implementation approach towards Agenda 2030, which includes the SDGs Action Plan, well-formulated financing strategies, and alignment of national socio-economic development initiatives and plans with the SDG targets.
Recognising the importance of international trade as a vital instrument for development, the state minister called for ensuring a universal, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system.
He called upon the member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to act on this. "To complement the government's actions on resource mobilisation for SDGs, sustainable investments from the private actors are very essential. However, the centrality of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) must not be overlooked," Mr Alam added.
He also underscored the need for effective climate action, saying that at the global level, Bangladesh has been voicing the concerns of the climate-vulnerable countries since climate change is already adversely impacting the development initiatives including lives and livelihoods of many people. He also emphasised that 'Partnership for Goals' is crucially important for successful implementation of SDGs.
Highlighting the importance of the SDG Goal 17 on international cooperation, Mr Alam said Bangladesh wants to forge effective partnerships locally, regionally and internationally with development partners, civil societies and private sectors.
"As Bangladesh is set to graduate from the LDC category by 2026, we also hope to revitalise our actions to reorient the goals of SDGs for smooth and sustained graduation."
Following the guiding principles of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the country's peace-centric foreign policy, the state minister said Bangladesh will continue to promote sustainable growth, solidarity, peace and justice.
Bangladesh remains keen to work with the international community and the multilateral system, said the state minister, calling upon everyone to work together to unlock newer opportunities for a better and prosperous future for present and future generations.
Mr Farooq Sobhan, Representative of the UN Global Compact Network Bangladesh, chaired the discussion.