Statement delivered at the General Debate of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the High-Level Segment of the ECOSOC by H.E. A H M Mustafa Kamal, Hon’ble Minister of Planning of Bangladesh on behalf of the least developed countries
UNHQs, 18 July 2017
President of ECOSOC
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the 47 least developed countries. We align with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
- The theme of this year’s HLPF, “Eradicating Poverty and ensuring prosperity in the changing world”, is a very timely one. LDCs are lagging behind in poverty eradication with more than 45% of their population still living in extreme poverty. Their economic growth rate is well below the 7 percent growth target of the IPoA. The business as usual approach with current growth projections would leave nearly 35 percent of the population in LDCs in extreme poverty by 2030.
- Most of the recent natural calamities, climate change induced havocs, health pandemics, commodity price volatility and other macroeconomic shocks, conflict and post-conflict disasters are happening in LDCs with impacts at disproportionate magnitude. Reducing the devastating impacts and building resilience against shocks and crises is, therefore, an imminent development priority for LDCs.
- Our Governments are making utmost efforts to eradicate poverty. At the national level, the LDCs are bringing in necessary legislative, administrative and structural reforms to implement the Agenda. We have emphasized on financial inclusion of all, women empowerment, quality education, capacity building on data, respect for human rights, creating an enabling environment for the private sector and so on.
- Nevertheless, it will be much harder for Governments of LDCs to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, combat hunger and malnutrition and to improve the provision of basic services without international support. Huge financing gaps continue to obstruct their efforts to implement the SDGs. We, therefore, call for significant mobilization of resources including through enhanced international cooperation, which is essential and must be ensured, for the LDCs and the graduating countries. In this regard, realization of SDG 17 is of utmost necessity.
- LDCs are facing the major brunt of climate change although they have contributed the least towards the global warming. The Paris Agreement provides us good guidance in mobilizing collective efforts to combat climate change and its implementation is inextricably linked with success of the 2030 Agenda. We reiterate that the LDCs need continued international cooperation to support climate actions in our countries. There must be more accessible for the LDCs to climate finance made through the GCF, LDCF and other existing sources of funding.
- Similarly, in the spirit of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, our partners will have to provide us with adequate, sustainable and timely support, including through finance, technology transfer and capacity building tailored to our needs and priorities.
- We are deeply concerned that when LDCs need increasing global support, ODA, FDI and exports, which are important means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda, declined considerably in 2016.
- We want the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda which very strongly articulates the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for the LDCs. Our development partners must undertake concrete actions to reverse the declining trend in ODA, FDI and exports and to fulfill the commitment of 0.15-0.20 percent of the GNI of the OECD countries to LDCs. We urge the international financial institutions to provide development assistance on special consideration to the LDCs.
- Technology and investment are key drivers of structural transformation in LDCs. We are concerned that the Investment Promotion Regime for the LDCs have not seen any progress over the years despite its being an SDG target. Concrete efforts must be made for the operationalization of the Technology Bank and the investment promotion regimes for LDCs.
- The LDCs, as the most vulnerable countries, must continue to receive prioritized and tailor-made support from the United Nations to realize the IPOA and the 2030 Agenda. This should be the cornerstone and guiding principle of the United Nations reform exercise.
- Nearly two years have elapsed since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We see hardly any progress in the implementation of the LDC-specific commitments articulated in several SDG targets. The High-Level Political Forum should address the concerns of the LDCs if we want SDGs to transform the world.
Thank you all.