Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bangladesh must ready itself for Rio Earth Summit

Govt should make an outline, say analysts at CPD dialogue
Bangladesh must prepare for negotiations at the upcoming Rio Earth Summit that will focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability, analysts said yesterday.
The government needs to outline what it may get from the negotiation process, and should negotiate accordingly, they said. For the least developed country like Bangladesh, it is important to prepare clear proposals before joining the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June, said Dr Fahmida Khatun, head of research of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
“For that, inter-ministerial coordination among the different ministries is necessary to devise the position of Bangladesh and what it may get from the UN conference,” she added.
Fahmida presented a keynote paper at a dialogue, “UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20): Context, Issues and Challenges for Bangladesh’ organised by CPD at Spectra Convention Centre in Dhaka.
The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will be held on June 20-22, twenty years after the first World Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The main themes at the conference will be the green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and the institutional framework supporting sustainable development.
Fahmida said the Rio+20 Summit is of vital importance to Bangladesh as an LDC and a victim of climate change. “The outcome of the summit will have implications for the country in a number of ways, such as green economy.”
She stressed a need for the ideas to be dissected at expert levels to finalise Bangladesh’s position, as a green economy and green growth will be the main focus of the conference.
“Because a green economy primarily focuses on the intersection between environment and economy with social goals largely ignored. Simultaneously, the current sustainable development institutions are too weak and a fragmentation in treaties and financing has resulted in a lack of policy coherence.”
She suggested that Bangladesh’s major focus should be to achieve sustainable development through employment creation and poverty reduction. “And since the conference is about economic, social and environmental sustainability, we have to look for the best opportunities we may get and utilise our best.”
“For that, we need financial and technological support from the developed countries, who committed 0.7 percent of their gross national product to official development assistance for the poor countries.”
Fahmida also reminded that transparency in governance, access to information, and avenues for participation of stakeholders should be enhanced further.
Khusi Kabir, coordinator of Nijera Kori and a trustee of CPD, said the objective of the dialogue is to draw the attention of major stakeholders to key issues at the upcoming Rio+20 Summit.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, economist and chairman of PKSF, stressed the need for active participation in the negotiation process at the conference.
“We must be aware and keep an eye on the negotiation process, so that none of our agendas are eliminated from the bargaining process,” he said.
“In order to address sustainability, we need to address the source of the problems in society. And we need to address deprivation and injustice.”
He also said that unless large segments of the world’s population are empowered to take part in the distribution of resources, societies would increasingly be exposed to the risk of desperate people uniting against injustice and potentially posing a threat to democratic institutions across the globe.
Dr Hasan Mahmud, minister for environment and forests, said the go-vernment is set to finalise its demands from the upcoming conference, and it needs support from the scientific and civil societies of the country.
Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, also spoke.

-With The Daily Star input

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