Strong public institutions key to implementing SDGs
Speakers have called for strong and transparent public institutions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh.
The remarks came at a citizen dialogue styled “The New Global Development Agenda: Peace and Security, Human Rights and Governance,” organised by the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh at the Hotel Saint Martin in Chittagong city on Saturday.
“Peace, security, human rights and good governance will be the priority areas in achieving the Agenda 2030,” said the platform in a statement.
It said, in the past few years, the government of Bangladesh has taken measures to reform laws and strengthen institutional initiatives to establish good governance in the administrative system.
“Unfortunately advantages of these initiatives have not reflected in people's life. So, it is essential to increase citizen's awareness, strengthen administrative capacities and make the political willingness visible.”
Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh, presented a keynote titled “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Challenges for implementation of peace, security, human rights and good governance”.
He said different ministries and departments are involved in implementing the Goal 16 in Bangladesh. “Ensuring coordination among these ministries and departments will be a big challenge for the government.”
He said there is no adequate information and data for most indicators under the Goal 16 which will be another challenge to achieve the goal. “Data used in administrative works will play a big role in this regard.”
Goal 16 of the SDGs is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said the goal of the platform is to include everybody in the development process so that nobody is left behind.
“The Citizen's Platform is not a project. We think it's a very important task for all of us and we have voluntarily engaged with it,” she said.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, convener of the platform, said they want the platform to be a social movement.
He said the SDGs are universal approach unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and include social, economic and environmental aspects.
Chittagong City Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, who attended the programme as chief guest, said the main challenge for successfully implementing the SDGs would be to change the mindset of the people.
Prof Muhammad Sekandar Khan, vice-chancellor of East Delta University in Chittagong, said good governance and human rights are related to each other. “Good governance is a prerequisite for establishing human rights.”
The dialogue was organised in association with the TIB, Sachetan Nagarik Committee (SANAC), Chittagong, and the Community Development Centre (CODEC), Chittagong.
Delwar Majumder, president of SANAC Chittagong, Khurshid Alam, executive director of CODEC Chittagong, and Prof Ferdous Ara Alim also spoke.