Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Bangladesh is already on track to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the country gained a remarkable success in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“We achieved a spectacular success in achieving MDGs and we’re already on track to achieve SDGs,” she said while replying to a question in an interview session of the Future Sustainability Summit here.
The interview session titled 'The Critical Role of Women in Delivering Climate Action' of the Future Sustainability Summit held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the event.
The prime minister said Bangladesh was closely engaged with negotiations to develop the SDGs at the United Nations. “We consider that it (adopting SDGs) is a historic decision taken by all countries for the people of the world.”
She said if development is not visible for long term and rather creates discrimination and further inequality, then this may be considered as material growth, not development.
The prime minister stressed the need for adopting inclusive policies so that economic growth is transformed into sustainable development and social benefits.
“We had declared our vision 2021 and vision 2041 as much before the SDGs, we had incorporated inclusiveness and sustainability in our visions,” said Hasina replying to another question.
She went on to say, “We understood that development problems were not always caused by lack of resources but also for lack of equitable distribution.”
The prime minister said her government has identified several categories of marginalised or vulnerable groups for special attention like women and children, generally poor community, the disabled, small ethnic communities.
Mentioning different measures taken for development of the marginalised people, Hasina said she started with education as her government has nationalised 26,193 private primary schools and 685 secondary high schools.
“Tuition fees are waived for girl students up to the 12th grade. For a larger inclusion of autistics and people with special needs, we are providing free specialised training,” she said.
The PM said now 6 million poor families are organised through more than 101,042 village co-operative societies under the project 'My House, My Farm' throughout the country.
By now, she said, nearly a quarter of all the families in the country have been covered under the social safety net programmes.
“We’re providing cash in various forms to freedom fighters, widows and victims of domestic violence, persons and students with disabilities, gypsies and disadvantaged communities, tea garden workers, poor and lactating mothers, and even to the persons of third gender,” she added.
Bangladesh has been providing all necessary physical support services, including food, housing, health and other emergency services to over 1.1 million Rohingyas, said the prime minister.
Talking about climate change, she said though Bangladesh not responsible for carbon emission, the country is one of its worst sufferers. But Bangladesh did not sit idle rather formed a climate change trust fund with own resources for the adaptation to climate changes, she added.