Nothing to be complacent about MDGs: Kholiquzzaman

Nothing to be complacent about MDGs: Kholiquzzaman

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Bangladesh must move forward with the target of an integrated human development rather than feeling complacent about some success in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said chairman of Palli Karma-Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) and noted economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad on Saturday. “Despite the fact that the country is on track for achieving some MDGs, including poverty alleviation, reducing hunger, dropping child and maternal mortality rate, and despite having a satisfactory economic growth in recent years, poverty and hunger still exists, indicating an absence of integrated economic growth,” he said at a discussion, titled ‘MDG Achievement and Formulation of the Post-MDG Agenda’. MDGs, when adopted back in 2000, had set some tangible targets to be accomplished by 2015, but it also missed, or gave less priority to, issues such as population increase, climate change threats, and above all compromised with the values and principles of the 2000 UN Millennium Declaration, he added. The discussion meeting was organised by the United Nations Association of Bangladesh (UNAB) at Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA) marking the UN Day (October 24). “The governments of the UN countries and civil society organisations therein showed a lot of zeal to implement the MDGs, prompting a lot of initiatives with good results, but it must be admitted that one thing missing in the MDGs bandwagon was a well defined structure of the Millennium Declaration for ensuring human freedom, solidarity and equal development,” he said. Kholiquzzaman said the MDGs only slightly touched upon issues such as population increase and climate change threats that are vital for a country like Bangladesh. The developed countries of the world have also greatly failed in meeting their commitments of monetary assistance to help the poor and least developed countries to achieve the goals, he said. “For example, instead of increasing their development assistance to Bangladesh, the developed countries have reduced their Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the last two decades,” he said. The PKSF chief also noted that the least developed countries must raise their voice to change the management systems of the international money lending organisations like the World Bank so as to ensure that those organisations become more representative of the deprived countries. Bangladesh has already started the process of pressing home its own agenda to two fora — United Nations and the Rio +20 — that have been working for setting the post-2015 development agenda, said Kholiquzzaman, who is closely involved in the process. “We’ve already decided to press the international community for prioritising the issues of population increase, climate change on the aftermath of the MDGs,” he added. Presided over by UNAB president and former Justice Kazi Ebadul Haque, the discussion was also addressed by Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali. – UNB

 

 

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