Remarks by H.E. Mr. Muhammad Abdul Mannan, MP, Hon’ble State Minister for Planning and Finance of Bangladesh as a Panelist at the “Integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda: the role of the UNDS LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and countries emerging from conflict” in ECOSOC Segment on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR)
Thursday, 2 March 2017, 11:30-13:00hrs.
ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, USA
Thank you, Mr. Moderator
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to begin by commending ECOSOC for organizing this meeting and also for dedicating this particular segment on the groups of countries in special situation.
The QCPR resolution last year was very significant as it took place at a time while the UNDS was repositioning itself to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and other ground-breaking development agendas.
The 2030 Agenda and the other agendas accorded special attention to the LDCs and reflected their concerns and aspirations. Implementation of the highly interconnected, cross-cutting and multi-sectoral 2030 agenda is challenging for all and particularly so for the LDCs. It is indeed heartening that for the first time, the QCPR Resolution has requested the system to address the special challenges facing the LDCs and other countries in special situations. It also recognizes that the LDCs are the most vulnerable group of countries in the world and they need support from the UNDS for their implementation of the IPOA and the SDGs. It also emphasizes that the ODA commitments must be fulfilled for the LDCs which is a critical source of UNDS. When a number of LDCs are on the path of graduation from the LDC category, the QCPR resolution has asked for comprehensive and targeted support for those graduating and the graduated LDCs for a specific period after the graduation. Another important achievement of the LDCs in respect of the QCPR resolution is that the UNDS has been mandated to provide support to the newly established Technology Bank for the LDCs for its effective operationalization which would help these countries overcome technological handicaps. It is vitally important that these specific priorities be duly integrated into the respective strategic plans, operational activities and programmes of the UNDS in support of LDCs.
For LDCs, the most imminent issue is enhanced normative and operational support including financial and technical support to realize SDGs and the IPOA. The existing level of contributions for operational activities is far from adequate. The UNDS expenditure for LDCs declined to 47% in 2015 from 53% in 2014. This needs to be scaled up exponentially for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and enabling half of the LDCs reach the graduation threshold by 2020 as set out in the IPOA. LDCs will need more comprehensive, yet tailor-made, support. In view of this, we request the Funds and Programmes and Specialized Agencies to continue to explore incentives and mechanisms to broaden its support base. We also urge the UNDS to come forward with innovative ways to strengthen cooperation among countries, including among the South, towards accelerating the implementation of the IPOA.
Eradicating poverty and hunger, access to public health, education and other social services, addressing the impacts of climate change and building productive capacity in the LDCs should remain at the centre of the United Nations development cooperation efforts. The system also needs to support LDCs in data, statistics, knowledge platforms and support for the national implementation of the Goals through monitoring and reporting. We welcome that the new QCPR gives strategic guidance to the UN funds and programs to be more in line with the priorities determined by the Government of the programme countries.
Development is a central goal in itself. We are concerned that development related component of the UNDS expenditure is also declining for the LDCs. The coordination among development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding efforts are important. However, the specific mandate and the clear vision of the UNDS must be upheld in the process. The QCPR acknowledges that the development work can contribute to sustaining peace. The Secretary-General has aptly recognized that “implementing all the SDGs will make an enormous contribution to sustaining peace”.
Bangladesh supports a rights-based, gender-responsive and risk-informed approach to development. These elements, however, are not sufficient, in isolation, to advance sustainable development. They should be complemented by broader expertise in social, economic and environmental issues, in order to increase national capacities to overcome structural obstacles to sustainable development.
In conclusion, I stress that the LDC category should be universally recognized across the UNDS to facilitate a coordinated and coherent follow-up and monitoring of the implementation of progress made in these countries.