Statement to be delivered by H.E Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations on behalf of the Least Developed Countries in the Second Committee of the 71st General Assembly on Agenda Item 23: Eradication of Poverty and Other Development Issues New York, 17 October 2016
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
1. I deliver this Statement on behalf of 48 Least Developed Countries. We align ourselves with the statement made by the Group of 77 and China.
2. We thank the Secretary General for his Report on Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017). The report gives us insight into the implementation of the objectives of the second decade and challenges that continue to obstruct our endeavours to eradicate poverty.
3. The transformative 2030 Agenda for sustainable development adopted last year recognized poverty eradication in all forms and dimensions as the biggest challenge in achieving sustainable development. For the LDCs this challenge is enormous. The 2030 Agenda duly recognized the LDCs as the most vulnerable group that needs enhanced global support to combat hunger, malnutrition, diseases, illiteracy, and so on.
4. Poverty is an affront to human dignity and human rights. Economic growth is not enough to ensure prosperity for all. The 2030 Agenda gives a clear message to us that inclusive growth and development is the key to poverty eradication. That leaving no one behind should guide all our actions to that end.
5. MDGs made considerable success in eradicating extreme poverty from the world. Extreme poverty continued to decline in the second decade for poverty eradication. In the LDCs, extreme poverty declined to 44.8 per cent in 2011 from 48.9 per cent in 2008 and 65.9 per cent in 1990. However, in 2011, levels of extreme poverty exceeded 50 per cent in 14 of the least developed countries. Some of these countries were with levels above 70 per cent, as compared with 15 countries in 2008. What is the most disturbing is that over 24 million children of primary school age are out of school in the least developed countries.
6. Many LDCs could not achieve most of the MDGs. Inequality in income, wealth and opportunities have increased or remained high. Along with flaws in distribution of wealth, conflicts and strifes continue to impact development processes. These have been compounded by the impacts of climate change, disasters, outbreak of diseases and other shocks and crises. The LDCs are the worst-hit by these challenges exacerbating the situation of poverty.
7. Having said this, I would like to bring to your attention the following issues to strengthen our efforts against poverty:
First, overcoming the structural challenges and enhancing productive capacity are critically important for us to tackle poverty and graduate from the LDC category.
Reducing poverty in our countries is linked with strengthening the agriculture sector, focusing on industrial sectors with high potentials, and increased investment in infrastructure, energy, ICT, skill development with particular attention to women and youth. Access to food, nutrition and other social services are vital for development of the LDCs. In this regard, we appreciate innovative ways adopted by Bangladesh and some other LDCs to ensure food for children as well as adults of the marginalized section of the society. We must be able to create jobs and address unemployment to reduce inequality. All in society must enjoy the benefits of economic growth. Private sector being the primary engine for growth must be promoted for job creation and raise income. Policy intervention in a coherent manner may facilitate meaningful changes in this regard.
Second, we underline that while the onus of development lies primarily with the least developed countries, they need enhanced global support in a coordinated manner. Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, ODA can be effective tools for development and gradual reduction of poverty. Duty-free quota free market access for the LDC products and increased foreign direct investment are critically important for LDCs, and fulfilment of all ODA commitments can make significant contributions to our development.
Third, ensuring availability of technology is essential for the LDCs to catch up with the rest of the world. In this connection, we welcome the commitment showed by all to speedy operationalization of the Technology Bank for the LDCs.
Fourth, for the LDCs, the Istanbul Programme of Action prioritizes areas that need focused attention to eradicate poverty. There must be a strong synergy between the 2030 Agenda and the IPOA to accelerate the pace of development in the LDCs. The Midterm Review of the IPOA also gives us the directive that we need to further accelerate our efforts to improve the situation. In addition, we urge our development partners, UN System and other stakeholders to comply with the forward looking steps in compliance with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
Fifth, Climate change impacts and disasters continue to enhance vulnerability of the people in the LDCs. There must be additional and predictable support from the international community to help the LDCs in addressing the severe impacts of climate change and disasters. Implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement is crucial for us.
Sixth, migration is an enabler for development and has proven to be effective to reduce poverty in many LDCs. We call upon international community to work for ensuring safe, regular and orderly migration and help the LDCs to seize the multi-faceted benefits of migration.
8. Most of the LDCs are dependent on one or few primary products and their transition to industrialization remains slow. It is imperative to undertake inclusive and sustainable industrialization to reduce poverty by creating decent jobs. With the multiplier effects of inclusive and sustainable industrialization programs, LDCs could meet not only SDG 9 but also other SDGs related to poverty eradication, food security and job creation. Therefore, to support structural change and economic diversification of LDCs, the major
challenges related to finance, capacity and technology should be addressed. In this regard, developed countries should support LDCs according to their national priorities. In addition, while appreciating the ongoing cooperation between LDCs and UNIDO, this partnership should be further strengthened being anchored on the principle on national ownership and leadership.
9. In building momentum for the SDGs, we must draw lessons from our experiences in implementing the second decade and the MDGs to address the gaps in our efforts for development. Let us commit to harness partnerships and foster solidarity to address the key concerns related to socio-economic development and make this world poverty-free.
I thank you all.