15 November 2017: Bangladesh has estimated that an additional US$928 billion will be needed to fully implement the SDGs nationally. In Belarus, a seminar on the SDGs is promoting awareness of the national strategy for achieving the SDGs and the role of the country’s Council for Sustainable Development.

At the seminar, convened in Minsk, Belarus, Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Chervyakov highlighted that, beginning in 2018, all policy documents will reflect sustainable development aims. Chervyakov leads an interdepartmental working group on economy at the Council for Sustainable Development. As reported by the Belarus News Agency, Chervyakov also outlined the government’s plans for implementing the SDGs in the economic sphere, including reducing inequality (SDG 10) within the country by setting up centers of economic growth in regional centres, creating jobs outside the current growth centers and providing modern infrastructure.

Belarus presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), noting the presidential appointment of a National Coordinator for the Achievement of the SDGs, and the establishment of a national council for sustainable development, led by the National Coordinator. The national council is made up of the directors of 30 national and regional government bodies, and its role is to promote coordination and increase the accountability of government agencies in implementing the SDGs.

On monitoring implementation, Belarus’ VNR reports that full information is available for only 38% of the SDG indicators, and that the Belarusian Statistical Committee is coordinating efforts to develop a national system of indicators for monitoring the SDGs. According to the VNR, Belarus will prioritize implementing the SDGs that focus on: food security and sustainable agriculture (SDG 2); health (SDG 3); education (SDG 4); gender equality (SDG 5); employment (SDG 8); and resilient infrastructure and sustainable industrialization and innovation (SDG 9).

In Bangladesh, US$928 billion will be needed to fully implement the SDGs nationally, in addition to current financing.

Like Belarus, Bangladesh also conducted a VNR in 2017. The government reported that the 2030 Agenda has been incorporated into its 7th Five-Year Plan for 2016-2020, and that implementation is being monitored by an SDGs Implementation and Monitoring Committee established in the Prime Minister’s Office. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has supported the country’s efforts through financial and technical support from two UNDP projects: Support to Sustainable and Inclusive Planning; and Engaging with Institutions. A ‘Training Handbook on Implementation of the 7th Five-Year Plan’ has been published, and specific ministries have been identified as lead, co-lead and supporting agencies with responsibility for implementing specific SDG targets. An action plan is in the process of being developed through a multi-stakeholder process.

On monitoring, a data gap analysis has been carried out, showing that data is available for less than 30% of the SDG indicators. A national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework is being developed, and public sector agencies are being monitored against SDG targets, which have been integrated into a national results-based performance management system known as ‘Annual Performance Agreement.’

The Bangladesh VNR also identified challenges for implementing the SDGs: mobilizing finance; engaging with stakeholders; data management; and localizing and contextualizing the SDGs through local development plans and strategies.

Following the HLPF, the Bangladesh Planning Commission issued a report on a strategy for financing the SDGs, which estimates that US$928 billion will be needed to fully implement the SDGs nationally, in addition to current financing by the public and private sector and external sources. [Belarus VNRs] [Belarus News Agency Story] [Bangladesh VNR] [Report on SDGs Financing Strategy: Bangladesh Perspective] [UNDP Bangladesh Website]