Speakers demanded reduce inequality in the Post 2015 Development Framework
A national seminar on `Post 2015 Development Agenda: Towards a Transformative and Rights Based Development Framework’ has been held on 24 May at National Press Club, Dhaka while it was attended by a large number of stakeholders including NGOs, academicians, civil society organizations, trade unions, women groups, rights organizations, students. Organzied by VOICE, a rights based organization and Beyond 2015, the seminar was presided over by eminent economist Dr. Kazi Khaliquzzaman while Rustom Ali Foraji, MP, Dr. Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, executive director of Unnayan Onneshan, and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE spoke at the seminar among others. Farjana Akter, coordinator of VOICE presented a key discussion paper.
Speakers highlighted that a majority of people are living in the extreme poverty condition though Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is being reached to end in 2015 tat aims to halve the poverty on top of the goals. Despite a remarkable progress, many of the goals will not be fully met by 2015 while we need much more effort in terms of poverty alleviation hunger, preventable child and material deaths, and ensure all children have access to quality health, education, clean drinking water and sanitation services and sustainable environment. Speakers indicated the growing inequality between rich and poor and among countries emerged as huge challenge that must be properly addressed in new framework that the United Nations initiated and member states are engaged. Speakers urged a sustainable agenda for the world based in equality and redistributive justice for all enshrined by human rights.
Dr. Kazi Khaliquzzaman said that having a remarkable success to achieve MDG goals, Bangladesh still needs to make sincere efforts to meet its development needs. The post 2015 development agenda should ensure inclusive and equitable economic growth while it needs attention to reduce poverty and inequality particularly among marginalized groups and improve living conditions. He emphasized the responsive roles of the leadership of developed countries in terms of climate financing and climate change mitigation. He urged for equal participation and representation of people including marginalized and most disadvantaged in the decision making process and told leaders to ensure democratic governance.
Rustom Ali Foraji MP, addressed that the political hierarchy must be an end and leaders should look into the struggle of people and urged to reralize the needs of people. He emphasized that political will is a must while development framework must prioritize based on countries’ needs and demands rather that having imposed one. He urged for inclusive participation in implementing development agenda. He said that post 2015 development agenda may set internationally but local issues must be addressed by political leadership respecting human rights framework and Constitutional obligations.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud stated that corporate based development strategy cannot be an option to reduce poverty and financing development. He demanded that global leaders must comply with their commitments made in the MDGs, in particular, providing 0.7 per cent of gross national product of the rich countries that they didn’t met up. The new development model should focus on a transformative change that encourages creativity and innovation in the pursuit of inclusive, equitable and sustained equitable growth and development. He urged to strengthening equity, enabling voice and participation, confronting social, environmental and economic challenges and capitalizing on new partnerships based on mutual respect and accountable mechanism. Bangladesh must move forward boldly on all these development fronts in the post-2015 era.
Emphasizing structural causes that create poverty and inequality, Dr. Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir said that the present development models failed to provide justice and equality, rather it increases disparity among people and countries which must be an end for fairer world. Criticizing MDGs, he emphasized to create employment and ensure justice for all in a post 2015 development framework.
In the key note presentation, Farjana Akter focused demands from civil society perspective drawing attention to respect human rights charter, reduce inequality, environmental degradation ensuring peace and security, and justice for all in the new development framework.
Among others Badrul Alam, Chairperson of Farmers Federation, Tahrima Khan, Aminur Rasul, Rifat S. Khan spoke on the seminar.