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Consolidating people’s power for development justice
Continued economic growth will help significantly reduce the poor population of more than 200 million living below the international poverty line in South Asia.

Consolidating people’s power for development justice

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 7 December 2019 – We, the representatives of CSOs of South Asia convened the South Asia Peoples Forum on Sustainable Development 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on the occasion of Third South Asia Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals being organized by UN-ESCAP. Main agendas of the forum were Poverty, Inequality, Exclusion and Leaving No One; Peace, Human Rights, Justice and Governance; Natural Resources, Climate Change and Disaster Risk; VNR 2020, Regional Forum/APFSD 2020, and HLPF; and establishing peoples power for SDGs. We discussed on issues, challenges, gaps, opportunities of those agendas in the context of South Asia and we release this statement to draw the attention of governments, international communities, CSOs and other development actors of our region in order to reinforce people-centric development justice.
• Deliver the international commitments made by governments and international institutions on peace, human rights, governance and development
• Deepen the understanding of SDGs by localization with common people, business society and political society
• Ensure accessible information, communication and knowledge on Agenda 2030 for all
• Ensure peace, harmony, safety and security of the people
• Be sensitive on interlinkages between goals and link work development works with SDGs
• Address to the real issues, needs and challenges of the development rather than to give
priority to mega infrastructure projects
• Increase investment in social protection
• Implement the Asia-Pacific Regional Roadmap of SDGs effectively
• Develop disaggregated data by gender, class, caste/ethnicity, age, geography, ability etc. in
a systemic way and access to the public and keep Leave No One Behind in heart
• Build regional cooperation for economic development, human trafficking, migrant workers,
and climate change as a common agenda
• Improve positive engagement and accountability of the private sector
• Recognize unpaid work of women in the national economy and respect women’s contribution to agriculture
• Implement minimum wage policies effectively
• Protect human right defenders, who are under threat due to ICT and other reasons
• Protect migrant workers especially, women
• Ensure justice for Dalits and marginalized people, who are structurally excluded
• Ensure meaningful and inclusive participation CSOs including the marginalized, peoples with disabilities, and minority groups in decision-making processes
• Ensure inclusive and construction participation of CSOs in VNR process by the Government
• Consider intersectionality while addressing the issue of gender inequality
• Enact anti-discriminatory laws in all countries
• Protect women and children who are affected and vulnerable to rape, trafficking, abuse and child marriage by natural disasters
• Recognize women’s contribution to the caregiver
• Launch women entrepreneurship development programmes for economic empowerment of women and ensure access of women in the market
• Provide gender-friendly services and shelters
• Make the provision of gender-sensitive reporting and gender-responsive budget • Ensure meaningful participation of women towards 50:50
• Address the issue of people with special need e.g. pregnancy, people with disability, children and elderly people
• Build accessible facilities and empower persons with disabilities to be part of making disaster risk reduction process accessible
• Ensure access of all people to disaster shelters
• Strengthen Local Government Institute ( LGI) for effective implementation of SDG goals
• Make sure early warning systems of disaster understandable by all community
• Develop a climate change adaptation policy for the agriculture sector
• Increase regional and international cooperation on climate change
• The present real situation of SDGs in VNR reports
• Work regularly on the issues rather than limiting only short term projects
• Monitor and review the SDGs constantly
• Recognize people's power and their contribution transformation
• Develop tools to measure the progress of SDGs to previous VNR to coming to VNR
• Respect and practice diversity and inclusion in all level UN, Governments and CSOs
• Maintain peace, harmony and integrity at all level
• Finance on SDGs by UN and Governments
• Respect and protection of ethnicity, mother languages and indigenous knowledge
• Address the challenges of LDCs, which are most likely to face after graduation into a middle-income country
– South Asia Peoples Forum on Sustainable Development 2019 – Statement