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23 September 2021

A lack of real-time and authentic data compilation coupled with a lack of access to resources are major challenges for Bangladesh to attain its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), experts said at the consultation with wide stakeholders titled “Consultation with wider stakeholders on SDGs 5, 8 & 13 through the whole of society approach”, organized on 23 September 2021 by the ‘Strengthening Institutional Capacity for SDGs Achievement in Bangladesh (SC4SDG)’ project of UNDP Bangladesh and UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals project and The Daily Star, leading English daily.

Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), gave a keynote speech on the topic at the consultation. The event had facilities for guests and participants to join in-person or online. Around 45 participants from General Economic Division, private sector organizations, international financial institutions, UN agencies, think tanks, CSOs, INGOs and universities attended this important consultation. The consultation emphasized on how whole of society approach will accelerate the progress to achieve SDGs 5, 8 and 13 and enhance the general human welfare.

During the discussion, it was highlighted that unavailability of disaggregated data was a major challenge for SDG implementation. To promote inclusive policymaking in Bangladesh and strengthen regional and global economic integration, real-time authentic and representative data are so important to have realistic policymaking. Effective collaboration between government and other non-state stakeholders, including consultation on policy issues and active partnerships will be required to achieve SDG 5, 8 and 13. While discussing the SDGs, dignitaries emphasized on the role of industrialization in creating demand for human development, and to highlight in the context of not only gender equality, but also for other indicators is very much important. Dr Fahmida went on to say that all relevant parties, including non-state actors, were the key players in achieving the SDGs and their role should be fully recognized. Non-state actors' capacity to implement the SDGs is not adequate and it should be developed through government support, she said. The government's efforts to adopt the whole of society approach for implementing the SDGs should be continued and strengthened as well, she said.

Among the key dignitaries, we had Dr Shamsul Alam, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Planning, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP in Bangladesh, Nazneen Ahmed, Economist, UNDP in Bangladesh, Khushi Kabir, Secretary, Nijera Kori, social activist, feminist, and environmentalist, , Mr Mizanur Rahman, Head of operations and CFO of The Daily Star; Judith Herbertson, Head, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Bangladesh, British High Commission and other stakeholders also spoke at the event. The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mr Mahfuz Anam has shared his welcome message through a video emphasized concerted efforts of all stakeholders to make the whole process a success. Vote of thanks was given by the Mr. Md. Mafidul Islam, Chief, (Additional Secretary) General Economics Division (GED).