Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the speakers and parliamentarians of South Asia for allocating budgets to enable the countries for the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"As a key institution of democracy, parliaments have an important role to play in making the SDGs a success. Practical steps need to be taken to advance the integration of the goals at the national level and monitor progress," she said.
Hasina was addressing the closing session of the first-ever South Asian speakers' summit on achieving the SDGs at a city hotel in the afternoon.
She also pledged to help build political will in South-Asian parliaments to implement the SDGs through partnership, dialogue and cooperation with key stakeholders, including citizens, civil society, community and religious leaders, and young people.
About the Dhaka Declaration of the Summit on achieving the SDGs,
Hasina said she and her government fully endorse the declaration.
Noting that Bangladesh has made tremendous success in achieving the MDGs, she said, "We want to sustain the momentum of the MDGs, build on their successes and transform Bangladesh to realise the SDGs.
"I believe Agenda 2030 is about a collective journey… the international community has to deliver on the means of implementation.”
Recognising the interdependence between health and development, the PM said she firmly believes that parliaments in regions and beyond must increase their efforts in both quantitative and qualitative terms to ensure healthy lives.
Terming Tobacco “now an epidemic”, Hasina said in South Asia
(Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) the estimated total number of tobacco users is 384 million, which is over a third (34.8 percent) of the total tobacco users in the world (about 1.1 billion).
Organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Bangladesh National Parliament hosted the summit while the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids provided technical support and cooperation.