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 20: Sustainable development Conference Room 2, UNHQ, 19 October 2015
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the 48 least developed countries. The LDCs align themselves with the intervention by the delegation of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 & China.
We thank the Secretary-General for his several reports on the agenda item on sustainable development. We also appreciate the presentations by the Secretariat on these reports.
You will agree with me the greatest challenge facing humanity for decades, and more so today is the eradication of poverty. For effective and irreversible eradication of poverty, it has to be ensured that all our efforts in this regard are sustainable. The LDCs, the most vulnerable group of countries in this world, is not being able to get out of the poverty trap because of series of disasters occurring in present day world – a phenomenon of climate change. In fact, disasters are adding more people in the ‘below poverty line’.
As we are struggling to address the challenge of climate change, we urgently need to have better coordination, better collaboration and cooperation of handling disasters, and building resilience. Although it is said to be the responsibility of individual countries to prepare for natural disasters, it will be impossible for the LDCs to manage disasters alone, and then to rehabilitate. LDCs will need international assistance in all four priority action areas highlighted in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, namely (1) understanding disaster risk; (2) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; (3) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and (4) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
In addition, Member States that are contributing more to warming of the planet earth, to be fair, need to do more so that the people of climate vulnerable countries are not uprooted or displaced in the first place. If they are displaced, contributors to global warming should help rehabilitate them proportionately.
The UN Member States need to work on the issue of disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation for LDCs whose infrastructures are being destroyed regularly. Populations of the LDCs are being driven further into extreme poverty because of the frequent occurrences of natural disasters including river erosion, inundation of cultivable lands and destruction of homes and infrastructures. Urgent assistance is needed to assist the LDCs to overcome these crises.
The UN Member States must acknowledge the strong intertwining link among disaster risk reduction, rescue, recovery, rehabilitation, and long-term development. It is important to implement the Sendai Framework in this regard. The recommendations in the report by Secretary-General are also worth consideration.
On the issue of implementation of the environmental conventions, the Least Developed Countries would like to flag that without being the polluters, they are the major victims of major negative environmental impacts. In the face of drought, desertification, sea-level rising, and drastic reduction of biological diversity, the least developed countries are suffering the most. For a sustainable world, it is imperative that the LDCs are provided support in this regard.
With the Climate Conference in Paris starting next month, we need urgent action by all stakeholders for international cooperation and collaboration on the issue of sustainable development, including in the areas of disaster risk reduction. LDCs will be engaging substantively in the discussions, debates and negotiations in these areas. We all together will have to ensure that the sustainable world that we all are aiming for will be efficient in reducing the risk of disasters, where extreme poverty will be eradicated forever and will be a thing of the past, and where no one will be left behind.