Asia-Pacific Conference on Financing for Inclusive and Sustainable Development begins
Bangladesh would require an additional $928.48 billion to attain 169 targets under 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, Foreign Affairs Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Sunday.
He was speaking at the opening session of the three-day "Asia-Pacific Conference on Financing for Inclusive and Sustainable Development" at a hotel in the capital.
President Md Abdul Hamid inaugurated the high-profile international conference organized by the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC Bangladesh).
According to foreign minister's statement, in the course of development and technological advancement to attain SDG goals and targets, Asian countries will require $1 trillion for infrastructure, $66 billion to eradicate poverty while another $37 billion and $ 42 billion for healthcare and education every year.
"For Bangladesh, our conservative estimate is that it would require an additional $928.48 billion to achieve SDG targets," Momen said.
He said he came to know about the facts of financing necessity during his posting in the earlier years at the UN secretariat and worked closely with the United Nation's team overseeing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and SDGs.
"There is simply no way to manage the finance from traditional financing methods/ sources," he said.
He said innovative concepts like green bonds and sustainability bonds might work to fill the financing gap towards achieving SDGs.
He said Islamic finance become another big source of finance worldwide.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that the money Bangladesh would require to achieve SDGs was a huge challenge.
"It is a huge amount (required). I look forward to your insightful ideas over the next couple of days, through experts' discussions," he said.
Kamal said exploring marine resources might widely help financing SDGs.
He mentioned climate change impact repairing as a huge challenge for Bangladesh at present.
He said Bangladesh successfully attained the MDGs.
"It is also possible to attain SDGs. Two things will be required — first, we must not stop moving forward and second, a concerted effort from all stakeholders worldwide," an optimistic Kamal said.
In a video message, former UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said the current global resources were sufficient to meet 2030 agenda of SDGs. But, the challenge is to channeling the resources to the SDG implementing countries.
Incumbent UN Secretary General António Guterres also sent a video message congratulating the ICC Bangladesh for its initiative of organizing the Dhaka conference.
In his welcome address, Mahbubur Rahman, president, ICC Bangladesh, said the Dhaka conference was being organized in celebration of 100 years of ICC globally as well as 25 years of its presence in Bangladesh.
He said the conference aimed to recommend policies for the governments to explore financial resources for countries of the Asia-Pacific region through a series of plenary sessions.
In the next couple of days of the conference, policy makers, private business and financial sectors, international organizations, civil society organizations, and all other relevant stakeholders will discuss pressing issues of financing for inclusive and sustainable development.
Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana and ICC Bangladesh chapter's vice president Rokia Afzal Rahman also spoke.