Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Jeffrey Sachs has highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership in securing "tremendous" gains on different development and human indicators set out under SDGs.
"You've been in the leadership position during this time of tremendous progress. So, we wanted to give you personal congratulations as well," said Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economist.
Lessons from Bangladesh's progress in UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are something that the whole world is interested to know, Jeffrey mentioned.
A video of his remarks made recently at a programme was shared on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Branding Bangladesh as the "top-performing" nation in the attainment of SDGs, Sachs urged Hasina to share her perspectives for world leaders to help the world achieve the path of "progress" and "development".
The Prime Minister was awarded the 'SDG Progress Award' by the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for Bangladesh's steady progress in achieving the SDGs.
"One of the things that makes us so excited and we want to hear from you is the fact that when we analyze as the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network does each year, the country's progress towards sustainable goals Bangladesh came first in the world in most progress between 2015 and 2020," Sachs told an international seminar at the UN, according to the video.
Highlighting Bangladesh's progress, the former adviser to three United Nations Secretaries-General, said, "I want to point out for listeners as we welcome you (Hasina). If you look at the facts of Bangladesh's progress and development, they really are wonderful and striking."
"For that achievement as well as wishing Bangladesh a happy birthday as this is a celebratory year, even though we're in the midst of a big crisis globally and everywhere, we still want to celebrate Bangladesh's achievement," Sachs added.
Sachs tossed a few statistics to back his contention. In 1981, he said, the literacy rate was 29% of the adult population, in 2019 75% and in 1998, the completion at the lower secondary school was 50%, now it is 88%.
Electrification was only 14% of households covered in 1991 while now electricity access is 92%, he mentioned.
Mentioning a "seven-fold reduction" under-five child mortality, Sachs said one that is a particularly clear indicator of the great strides of wellbeing, the mortality rate for the children under 5 at independence was 222 children dying before their fifth birthdays of every 1000 births.
Crediting Hasina's leadership, he said, "You (Hasina) have been the prime minister for three consecutive terms and the other during 1996 to 2001, in between leader of the opposition in three parliaments, so you have been in the leadership of your country during this time of tremendous progress."