Statement by H.E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at UN, on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, at Second Committee on agenda item 22: Globalization and interdependence Conference Room 2, UNHQ, 15 October 2015
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.
I have the honor to deliver the statement on behalf of the Group of 48 Least Developed Countries. The LDCs align themselves with the statement by the delegation of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 & China.
We would first like to express our thanks to the Secretary-General for his reports on this important agenda item. We also thank the Secretariat for presenting reports to the Member States this morning.
When I got up today in my Manhattan apartment in New York, I was lucky to have a banana from Ecuador, a bowl of cereal from Canada, milk from Vermont, USA and I tuned to BBC World, London. I was saddened to observe violence in Palestine, and Middle East. However, I had the privilege to have aroma tea from Darjeeling, India, I read my emails in my Samsung cell phone made in South Korea, I got my clothes stitched beautifully in Bangladesh and afterwards I jumped into a car made in Germany. In fact, like me every person and every country of the world today is bound with each other through interdependence in today’s globalized world. Since we have become global people, and we live in global village that is highly inter-linked, we feel pain and sorrow and also we feel ashamed of ourselves when we observe, people are dying from hunger, suffering from economic and social deprivation, suffering in oceans and foreign lands as refugees, and getting more poor because of income inequality. However, the starker reality is many people of the least developed countries, that I represent, the most vulnerable group in the world, find themselves in more difficult situation to cope up with every day needs in today’s world without international help and assistance. Many of the LDCs are dependent on official development assistance for their development programs, and without support of the international community, it would be extremely difficult for them to graduate from the least developed countries’ category. They don’t need lip-service and advocacy. They need resource mobilization and appropriate technology to fully utilize their potential resources efficiently and effectively and to achieve their goals of sustainable development.
It is true that due to MDGs, more than a billion people is out of extreme poverty, more children can afford to go to schools, more mothers and their infant children can live longer. It is true that nearly out of 48 LDCs 16 LDCs achieved MDG-1(a) i.e., poverty has been reduced by half. It is true that net enrolment in schools or MDG-2(a) has increased in 17 LDCs. Yet the fact of the matter is nearly 942 million people still live below the poverty level, 57 million children still cannot go to schools and 2.6 billion people still do not have adequate sanitation. Fact of the matter is; ‘stagnation or low progress’ in poverty reduction is observed in 16 LDCs, and 67% of the LDCs or 32 of them don’t have improved sanitation. Therefore, MDGs are not only an unfinished agenda, their achievements is also uneven. The study further shows that donor or publicly funded MDGs performed better. Therefore, to achieve SDGs, it is imperative to have adequate resources and technology transfer.
In terms of trade and debt scenario, as mentioned in the repot of the Secretary-General, the developed countries, as well as the developing countries in positions to do so, should do the needful to support the LDCs. It is important to have a closer look at the recommendations made in the report, where it stressed that the WTO agreements and declarations need to be realized and implemented by all stakeholders.
We also need to utilize the opportunity generated by the high youth population in the least developed countries. The report flags out that the youth population in LDCs will increase by 34 per cent over the next 15 years. In the context of the interdependent world, this youth population with their high potential and keen learning spirit should find employment globally for a win-win situation, and we must follow the guidelines regarding migration and migrants as set out by the global leaders during the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On the issue of science and technology for development, the least developed countries appreciate the efforts made in the Secretary- General’s report to synchronize it with the post 2015 Development agenda. It was recognized in the Istanbul Programme of Action that the least developed countries were seriously lagging behind in the area of science and technology. It is of key importance for the LDCs to acquire new technologies for productive capacity building in their countries, and also to utilize the preferential offers made by different countries in the areas of trade and investment. In addition to that, strengthening the sector of science and technology would help the LDCs to bridge the digital divide and the technology gap for eradication of poverty, and sustainable development.
Unfortunately, as flagged in the Global Sustainable Development Report 2015 brought out by UNDESA, as well as in the reports published by UNCTAD, LDCs are seriously lagging behind in the area of science, technology and innovation (STI), and it is important to support the LDCs in strengthening their scientific endeavors.
In this regard, the least developed countries would like to refer to the decision of UN Members in the IPoA for establishing the technology bank and science, technology and innovation facilitation mechanism for LDCs. We appreciate the decision adopted by the General Assembly in this regard through resolutions 68/224 and 69/231 to operationalize the technology bank in Turkey, with possible regional centers in LDCs. The least developed countries request the Secretary-General for transmitting the report to the Member States on the feasibility study by the high level panel that was established for this purpose. The Member States also need to work together to ensure that the technology bank for the LDCs will be able to function smoothly, once it starts its activities by this session of the General Assembly.
It is important to help LDCs merge into the global technology highway. Without mainstreaming them into the science and technology path along with other developed and developing countries, we can neither expect to achieve the goals and targets of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development nor can achieve our target of ‘no one is left behind’. The mid-term review of the IPoA is scheduled to take place in Antalya, Turkey in June 2016. UN Members need to provide concrete support mechanisms for science and technological advancements of LDCs by that time, so that there can be synergies between the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda. For achieving the global targets, we need global progress. LDCs, constituting almost 25% of the UN Membership, must not be left behind in this globalized world.
Let me conclude with a quote from our Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and I quote in Bangla: “Jare tumi niche felo, she tomay tanichhe je niche, poshchate rekhechho jare, she tomare poshchate tanichhe”. It means, those whom you are putting down, are sure to pull you down, and down further. Therefore, in this globalized highly interdependent world, let us work together in partnership and collaboration for a pro-people, pro-planet, more inclusive, more equitable, more peaceful and sustainable world for all where no one is left behind.
I thank you, Mr. Chair