BAZNAS Officially Becomes UNDP Partners to Develop SDGs

By : Hariyanto And Aldo Bella Putra | Friday, November 17 2017 - 18:00 IWST

BAZNAS Resmi Jadi Mitra UNDP Kembangkan SDGs
BAZNAS Resmi Jadi Mitra UNDP Kembangkan SDGs

INDUSTRY.co.id - Jakarta - Badan Amil Zakat Nasional (BAZNAS) has established a reputation internationally through the optimization of cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). And BAZNAS is now officially a UNDP partner for the development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

After a few weeks ago BAZNAS was invited to the UNDP Office at United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States (US), now the two institutions signed the BAZNAS-UNDP Letter of Intent (LoI) for the establishment of Innovative Financing for SDGs Laboratory in Jakarta, Friday (17 / 11/2017).

Present Vice Chairman BAZNAS Dr. Zainulbahar Noor, SE, M.Ec, Member of BAZNAS Ir. Nana Mintarti MP, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Regional Director of Asia Pacific UNDP Haoliang Xu, UNDP Indonesia Regional Director Christophe Bauhet and UNDP Indonesia Regional Deputy Director Francine Pickup.

"The LoI is linked to developing an Innovative Islamic Financial and Financing Laboratory for SDGs or Islamic Innovative Funding and Financing Lab for SDGs," said Zainulbahar Noor after representing the Chairman of BAZNAS Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo, MBA, CA, signed the LoI script with UNDP Indonesia Regional Director Christophe Bauhet and witnessed by the UN Secretary-General and Regional Director of Asia Pacific UNDP Haoliang Xu.<>  <> According to the former Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the Jordanian Empire, the implementation of the LoI will be implemented by a committee to be appointed by both parties representing each organization.

"Innovative financing for SDGs comes from zalcat funds and endowments of Indonesian Muslims collected through appropriate preparation mechanisms by both parties. This is certainly in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations in our country," said Zainul.

The Leveraging Innovative Financing for Development Workshop held by UNDP Indonesia with UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub took place during Thursday-Friday, 16-17 November 2017 and closed by UN Assistant Secretary-General and Asia Pacific Regional Director Haoliang Xu. In closing remarks, Haoliang expressed his appreciation for BAZNAS related to Zakat For SDGs program.

In his speech, Haoliang Xu gave high appreciation to BAZNAS for the cooperation that has been established so far. He also mentioned the meeting of BAZNAS represented by Zainulbahar Noor at UNDP Headquarters in New York, USA. He added that not only zakat but also endowments were discussed in meetings on funding innovations for SDGs.

Zainul, who is the first president and one of the founders of Bank Muamalat, explained that Innovative Financing for SDGs will conduct research, surveys and studies related to innovative funding for SDGs. This activity will be funded under mutual agreement.

"This is an opportunity for BAZNAS to realize the vision of becoming the best zakat management institution in the world pioneered through SDG programs. So the UN provides support for the development of innovative financing labs launched by BAZNAS and UNDP Indonesia, as BAZNAS is considered to have good Islamic financial management," he said.

According to Zainul, in this cooperation, related to the collection and distribution, BAZNAS is very strict to ensure that the funds of zakat are for 8 asnaf like Allah's command in Surah At-Tawbah Verse 60.

"It needs to be emphasized, because as an international institution within the UN, UNDP is also financing through their sources of funds that are not necessarily acceptable according to Islamic law, either in the form of programs or assistance to religious institutions including forbidden," he said.

In this regard, he added, as an international institution UNDP has a special program with its own concept and is generally applicable to aid programs to various institutions.

For accumulation, Zainul emphasized that BAZNAS has implemented the mandate of Law Number 23 Year 2011 on Zakat Management and its derivative rules which are expected to strictly regulate the payment of zakat through automatic salary deductions. "This is in line with the Finance Minister's comments some time ago that zakat should be managed like a tax. In the future, the payment of zakat can be a tax deduction instrument, not a deduction of taxable income," he said.

Deputy Regional Director of UNDP Indonesia, Francine Pickup, added that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can learn from Indonesia and implement zakat financing policies to support the SDG program. "BAZNAS has established a partnership with UNDP in developing religious guidance of Jurisprudence for SDGs, an attractive model for many to be studied and implemented.

"UNDP representative offices in Arab and Middle East countries as well as countries like Bangladesh, Maldives and the Philippines in the Asia Pacific region are interested in learning from Indonesia experience. We identified the upcoming international event where BAZNAS can present his work. 'Smart for SDGs' is a new south-south cooperation platform where Indonesia can lead innovative financing, including through Islamic finance and financial systems, zakat, infaq, alms and waqf," he said.

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