Placing emphasis on meaningful partnership and cooperation at the local and global levels to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the world leaders to stick to their commitments that they had made for the planet and people.
"Meaningful partnership and cooperation are equally essential, both at the local and global level for attaining SDGs. So, I would like to request all the global leaders to stick to our commitments that we had made for the planet and people," she said.
The prime minister was addressing as the co-moderator of the Leaders Dialogue 4 on "Localising the SDGs" at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (SDG Summit) at the Trusteeship Council in the UN Headquarters here this afternoon.
The prime minister expressed her confidence that: "Exchange of ideas would enhance our understanding of the development journey and it will also assist us in replicating the best practices with our own context."
She continued: "I'm sure that together we can bring the benefits of the SDGs to most marginalized people often at the bottom of the society."
Sheikh Hasina said she had the privilege to be personally present during both the events of adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000 and the adoption of SDGs in 2015.
She said SDGs are the expression of people's needs, aspirations and rights.
"SDG localisation is the process of implementing and monitoring strategies at the very local level reflecting different challenges and opportunities," she said, adding localisation transforms goals into local realities and aspirations.
"It motivates individuals as well as promotes an integrated, inclusive and sustainable approach for implementation," she said.
She continued: "The challenge of taking the benefits of the global agenda to the last person at the local level is the most challenging localisation issue".
The prime minister pointed out Bangladesh's experience in the localisation strategies for SDGs. "Learning from the experience of MDGs, we have integrated the goals of the SDGs into our 7th Five Year Plan and again incorporating those in our upcoming 8th Five Year Plan for 2021-2025," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has adopted the "whole of society" approach in SDGs implementation by involving various stakeholders, in particular those who are at the bottom. "We've identified their respective responsibilities and tasks for the government offices," she said.
The prime minister said the offices have been implementing respective 'Action Plans' in a coordinated manner. "We have also created innovative monitoring framework and for which we have launched an online "SDG tracker" to monitor progress in real time," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has also formed "National Data Coordination Committee" to expedite authentic data collection process and its utilizations.
"We're trying to mobilize resources and realize innovative financing involving the private sector and responsive civil society," she said.
"However, like other developing countries, we need enhanced support from multilateral and bilateral development partners."
The premier said in order to effectively localise SDGs at the districts and sub-districts level, the government has selected 40 priority indicators.
"Out of these, 39 indicators are chosen from 17 goals, and the remaining one is chosen by the local administrative unit according to their local realities and urgency following the principle of leaving no one behind," she said
Sheikh Hasina said localizing SDGs is the only process to empower all local stakeholders at all levels. "It aims at making sustainable development more responsive and relevant to local needs and aspirations," she added.
The prime minister said local governments and municipalities are also key providers of health services, education, employment and social services particularly in times of crisis. "And they protect our natural environment. In a nutshell, local governments are the true ambassadors and the frontline implementers of the SDGs," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said: "Our discussion has shown that achieving the 2030 Agenda requires empowerment of local actors to bring about the benefits of the SDGs to people.
"This way, they help us to deliver policy coherence, good practices, and experience-driven solutions. Through them, we build resilient and strong communities in our societies," she said.
"By working with the grassroots, we can bring innovation and positive change. Local authorities make the big goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda meaningful to people," she said.
"Therefore, key to achieving the 2030 Agenda lies in our capacity to create conditions for local leaders to bring effective results. We also heard first-hand experiences that illustrate the critical role that Parliament can play in internalizing the SDGs to a national and local agenda for action," she said.
"Let's work together to enable local authorities most productive way, in the spirit of genuine cooperation of realising Agenda 2030," she said.
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Ms. Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Surabaya, Indonesia, also spoke at the event.
Principal Coordinator on the SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad was present on the podium, while Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque joined the event.