Dr. Md Akhtaruzzaman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Dhaka,
Mr. Sudipto Mukherjee, Country Director, UNDP in Bangladesh,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon to you all.
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to speak in front of such a dynamic gathering at the closing session of the 5th Dhaka University National Model UN Conference. I am immensely happy to be here and I must say I look forward to such events where I get to meet with such a dazzling group of youths of our country.
I believe the event had been a great success this year. I am aware that for the last four days you had been engaging yourselves in a number of meaningful discussions and stressful negotiations on the implementation of sustainable development goals and how it can contribute in establishing peace, which is the ultimate objective of UN system.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today the entire world is going through a challenging time. While conflicts in various parts of the world including in the Middle East remain protracted and unresolved, many societies are yet to get freedom from poverty and hunger. In addition to those, we have seen emergence of new challenges, such as, climate change, displacement and refugee crisis and most notably, rising threats of terrorism and violent extremism.
This has put UN at the centre of all activities since peace and security of mankind is the ultimate objective for which the UN system is at work. That is why the newly adopted Agenda 2030 has, made ‘justice’ a core element which promotes peaceful societies and strong institutions. One of the goals of Agenda 2030 is to ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective accountable and inclusive institutions at all level.’
Peace; just and inclusive societies; and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are the key tools for ensuring sustainable development. There is no denying that, any form of violence undermine the human wellbeing and reduce the ability of the society, as a whole, to achieve development. Justice and inclusion, on the other hand, impacts human wellbeing at the individual level, meaning – people suffer due to lack of justice and inclusion irrespective of macro economic development consequences. The effective, accountable and inclusive institutions directly affect human development of a particular country. In short, all these elements ultimately help in the attainment of human wellbeing and development and thereby ensure peaceful coexistence among different sections of the society.
Therefore to ensure sustained peace and peaceful coexistence, full and effective implementation of SDGs is imperative. And needless to say, implementation of SDG needs cooperation and partnership among all states –big and small.
For Bangladesh, implementation of SDG is already underpinned by its success in achieving MDGs. Key to our success in MDGs was political commitment. We have not only adjusted our development agenda with MDGs, we also mobilized our national resources and enhanced capabilities; empowered our people; engaged in partnership with a wide range of local and international actors.
In this regard I would like to particularly stress that with the economic prosperity, we have also made significant success in social development and people’s empowerment. Our unique development experience has achieved recognition from cross section of international community.
For implementation of SDGs we have already devised an inclusive policy placing people at the centre. Our Planning Commission has aligned the next Five Year Plan (2016 – 2020), with the newly adopted sustainable development goals. The Government has also prepared the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSSD: 2010-2021), also known National Perspective Plan, which has been addressed by the 7th Five Year Plan. By implementing these, the Government envisions a sustainable society where needs of the present general will be met without compromising the prospects of the future generations. We have also developed an effective institutional mechanism for monitoring of the implementation.
However, we must acknowledge that Agenda 2030 is a collective journey. Whereas all our national efforts can only prove our sincerity, to translate them into reality international community has to deliver on the means of implementation. We would need resources in the form of foreign investment, trade benefits like duty-free quota-free access of our products to the international market, access to technology, particularly green and clean technology and for ensuring justice and social equality we need capacity building and resources sharing.
As you become our leaders and take the responsibility of our nation in the coming days, I would encourage you to understand our needs and negotiate with the actors around the world to secure necessary resources and supports for implementation of the SDGs. Only by implementing the development agenda we can ensure justice and equality in our society which in the long run would help us in our pursuit for peaceful coexistence.
To conclude, let me convey my heartiest thanks to the organizers for arranging this event. I extend my heartiest felicitations to all participants who have made this event meaningful. My special thanks to the participants from other countries. I wish you a safe journey to your home and please come back to Dhaka as a student, as a tourist, as an academician, as a businessman, as a researcher or why not as a diplomat representing this time your own country!
I thank you all for your patient hearing.
Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu!