Experts at ICMAB International Conference on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Way Forward’ laid emphasis on the use of Information Technology (IT) for the better implementation of various programmes related to the SDGs. They also said the use of IT in SDGs related data collection, recording, preservation, analysis and reporting is essential to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency. The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) organized the international event at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on September 23, 2018.
Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Finance, GoB was present in the conference as the Chief Guest while Ms. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh was present as Guest of Honour in the inaugural session. More than 400 participants from different stakeholder groups participated in the conference. ICMAB president Mr. Mohammed Salim FCMA presided over the Conference.
Mr. Ashadul Islam, Secretary, Financial Institutions Division, Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Secretary in Charge, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh were present in the conference as Special Guests in the Valedictory session.
ICMAB President Mr. Mohammed Salim FCMA expressed that due to the targets as devised in SDGs corporate reporting system will be changed significantly which will bring dramatic change in the corporate life of accountants. Sustainability reporting and integrated reporting has already captured the place of mainstream reporting. Environmental concerns receive additional attention and the governance system is getting revisited. SDGs also bring revisions in women empowerment, social justice, quality education, equity along with other dimensions to change the planet livable for all. These issues need to be discussed to bring awareness. ICMAB is keen to work together with all stakeholders for achieving SDGs in the coming days. This Journey will continue until achieving the goals. The recommendations of the conference will communicate with Government and major stakeholders for taking necessary action on SDGs.
Experts from various sectors taking part in six technical sessions identified various challenges to SDGs implementation and presented recommendations. Mr. Abdul Matin Patwary FCMA presented major recommendations at the Valedictory session of the conference. The key recommendations are as follows: Review the current higher education (HE) policies and strategies to assess whether they are aligned to UN’s SDGs (Goal 4 Quality Education).
Developing a strategic quality assessment framework for academics which could help achieve key SDGs for quality education. Establish a separate independent statutory body for research and scholarship for HE sector Hiring industry executives and professional accountants on a casual basis to teach professional courses. More investments in agriculture, including government spending and aid, are needed to increase capacity for agricultural productivity. Reducing inequality within and among countries need concerted effort of UN, countries, government, development partners. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts Business Report has to complement the GRI Standards to facilitate measuring and reporting on the implementation progress of SDGs. Leverage the GRI Standards – the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards – and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact to help businesses incorporate SDG reporting into their existing processes. Encourage use of five step approach recent publication by IIRC and ICAS towards aligning business thinking and reporting with the SDGs. Focus on the three SDGs reporting tools (Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets, Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide, In Focus: Addressing Investor Needs in Business Reporting on the SDGs) created by the action platform of GRI.
Accountants can save the world through the road map of Sustainability to Business Resilience. We have to focus on Integrated Thinking (dependencies and Impact). We (Accountants) have to link sustainability to the mainstream business agenda to ensure success in our initiative. Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
Mr. Md. Abdur Rahman Khan FCMA, Secretary of the Institute delivered the welcome speech while Mr. Md. Asad Chowdhury FCMA, Coordinator of the Conference offered vote of thanks in the Valedictory session.