Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury today stressed enhancing the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to fulfil the government's commitment to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
"Digital tools today are operational necessity as well as a powerful tool for stronger democracy," she said welcoming the Members of Parliament and participants of an orientation programme at the Oath Room of the Jatiya Sangsad here.
The orientation programme titled 'The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Bangladesh Parliament: Accelerate Achievement of SDGs Through Innovating Use of ICTs and the Role of Parliamentarians', was held in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding, a UNDP press release said.
Dr Sharmin said parliaments are no exception and new ICTs have not simply acted as tools to improve the efficiency and accuracy of parliamentary process but have been radically transformative tools changing the way legislatures function.
Pointing out the government's commitment to attain the SDGs, the Speaker said" "For the last couple of years, with the support of UNDP Bangladesh, Parliament is working to strategize MPs' engagement with SDGs".
"UNDP and Bangladesh Parliament have a long history of collaboration to achieve a common goal: sustainable development where no one is left behind," Bangladesh Parliament's Senior Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan said.
"Yesterday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between UNDP and Bangladesh Parliament to highlight the renewed collaboration to enhance the effectiveness of our continued development efforts in the country," he said.
Under the MoU, UNDP will work with the Bangladesh Parliament on capacity building initiatives to respond to the MPs' and Parliament's needs towards monitoring and implementing SDGs, support MPs to have better access to evidence-based data and organisational development.
"Parliament members in Bangladesh have a special role and responsibility to help implement Agenda 2030, to localise SDGs, to legislate for Acceleration and to ensure-No One is Left Behind" UNDP Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee said.
Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i Programme, provided an overview of the SDGs Tracker they developed in coordination with the Cabinet Division and the ICT Division.
In the orientation programme conducted as a part of the new cooperation, Charles Chauvel, Team Leader, Inclusive Political Process, Bureau of Programme and Policy Support (BPSS), UNDP Headquarters and Ashok Kumar, Center Director, e-Government Leadership Centre, Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore, gave presentations on best practices in parliaments around the world to this end and the use of ICT in Development Progress Monitoring respectively.
Later, Deputy Speaker Dr Fazle Rabbi Miah moderated the question-answer session.
Among others, Fakrul Ahsan, Chief Technical Advisor, UNDP; Mahmuda Afroz, Head of Democratic Governance, UNDP, and AYM Golam Kibria, Additional Secretary of Bangladesh, also spoke at the event.