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Azad seeks effective media engagement to achieve SDGs

Azad seeks effective media engagement to achieve SDGs

DHAKA: Principal Coordinator (SDGs) at the Prime Minister’s Office Md Abul Kalam Azad yesterday called for enhanced media engagement to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Media has to play an important role in achieving the SDGs,” he told a workshop on links between the Prime Minister’s 10 special initiatives and the SDGs for the newsmen working for the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).

He said the SDG targets were fixed after Bangladesh successfully achieved the previous UN set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), some of which were achieved much ahead of the 2015 deadline, while the ongoing SDG focused on 17 inter-related and integrated issues.

Azad, who previously served as the prime minister’s principal secretary, said the SDG implementation process coincided with the launching of the country’s Seventh Five-Year Plan while the targets of premier’s 10 special initiatives also were synchronized with both the plans.

He said the SDG intended to ensure engagement of all stakeholders “leaving no one behind” under the “whole of society” approach but the media has a special role to play for their effective implementation.

He expressed his hope that the country would attain the targets and indicators of the SDGs within the timeframe as the country has made a miracle in development in every indicator in the last 10 years.

BSS arranged the workshop in the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) auditorium at Purana Paltan here.A book titled “Unnoyoner Sopane Bangladesh-2” on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Special Ten Initiatives, the second publication of BSS on the issue, was also launched at the workshop.

Information Secretary Abdul Malek addressed the workshop as the special guest with BSS Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad in the chair.

Amar Bari Amar Khamar Project Director Akber Hossain, BSS Chief News Editor Anisur Rahman and City Editor Madhusudan Mondal, among others, addressed workshop.

In a power-point presentation, the principal coordinator of SDG affairs said the government has integrated all development plans including 7th five-year plan and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Special Ten Initiatives with the SDGs on the basis of the country’s needs to easily achieve the targets and indicators of the SDGs.

He urged the media to portray the government’s initiatives before the people to enhance the people’s participation and increase the number of beneficiaries of the development activities.

Azad said the country has made a remarkable progress in electricity generation in the last ten years as now around 95 percent people are enjoying the electricity facilities and the figure would be brought to 100 percent within the next December.

During the period of 2008-09, only 47 percent people were under electricity coverage but now country is putting emphasis on ensuring quality electricity facilities for the people after meeting the basic demands, he added.

Highlighting different achievements of the country, he said in 2018 the gross domestic products (GDP) of the country stood at 280 billion USD whereas it was only 91 billion in 2008. In 2008, per capita income was only 615 USD but the amount increased more than three times in the last one decade standing at 1,909 USD in 2019, he added.

Azad said around 14 000 community clinics (CCs) have been established in the country, each for every 6000 population and people are receiving 30 types of medicines from the clinics.

The establishment of community clinics has set an example in the world as it has been bringing healthcare to doorsteps of people, he added.

In education sector, the government has been providing free textbooks to students from primary to secondary school levels and every year around 36 crore books are being distributed among the students on the very fast day of English New Year.

“To attain the SDGs, the government has identified some 39+1 indicators keeping one more option for every implementing institution like ministries, districts and upazilas to incorporate one more special indicator with the 39 areas,” he said.

He said the government is implementing different development plans, schemes and programmes to materialize the slogan of the SDGs ‘Leave No One Behind’ by bringing people of all classes under the coverage of government facilities.

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