Democracy does not mean only elections but what happens afterwards and how accountably the system functions, UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu said yesterday.
“There is a need to improve governance and institutions, especially the local government--how they can play a constructive role and promote development at local levels,” he told a press conference at the capital's Sonargaon Hotel, wrapping up a five-day visit to Bangladesh.
During his stay, Xu visited various UNDP projects, including those at Korail slum in Dhaka, Dacope in Khulna, and Chittagong Hill Tracts.
He also met the finance and foreign ministers, government high officials and development experts in Dhaka to gather experience on Bangladesh's development priorities.
While commending Bangladesh's achievements in cutting maternal and infant mortality and significant improvement in primary school enrolment, Xu said the UN encouraged a more inclusive, accountable and responsive system of governance to development.
“It is for the interest of the people, empowerment of the poor and marginalised,” said Xu, an expert on economic