Statement delivered by His Excellency Mr. M Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva on behalf of the Least Developed Countries
in the Second Committee at the UNHQs, New York, 9 October 2017, on agenda item 20, Sustainable Development and sub-items
(a) Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
(c) Disaster risk reduction
(d) Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind
(e) Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa
(i) Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of 47 least developed countries. The Group aligns itself with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of G77.
- Ahead of the IPOA’s 2020 deadline, the average GDP growth for the LDCs remains low at 3.8 percent in 2015. It is well below the 7 percent target set by the IPOA. We are happy to note that the LDCs are deeply engaged in integrating the 2030 Agenda into their national policies and programmes. However, increased international development cooperation is essential for these countries to overcome their respective structural challenges. International community must deliver on the resource package committed to LDCs in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The UN system needs to further strengthen its normative and operational support to LDCs.
- A well-structured follow-up and monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is vitally important. We reiterate that there should also be a strong synergy and coherence in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs. The high-level political forum (HLPF) should remain a central platform for follow-up and monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We would like to see focused and evidence-based discussions on the special challenges faced by LDCs in the next HLPF.
- Furthermore, we underline the importance of inclusiveness in the processes, decision making and responses and resilience to climate change and disaster reduction. Inclusion of women, girls, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and local communities to mention a few, in disaster risk management is essential to strengthen the resilience of communities and reduce social vulnerabilities to disasters. As such, collaboration of all parties in all forums and processes related to disaster risk reduction and the implementation of the Sendai Framework is vital for effective and sustainable solutions.
- There must be concerted efforts to fully implement the Paris Agreement. We call upon our development partners to operationalize fully and in a timely manner the Green Climate Fund, with the goals of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020. Greater efforts are imperative in promoting and facilitating clean development mechanism projects in the least developed countries and addressing the needs of people displaced as a result of extreme weather events. The allocation of adaptation and mitigation funds should be additional to official development assistance commitments and should be fair, equitable and proportionate to the impact of climate change. Our development partners must ensure effective delivery on climate change commitments and access by the LDCs to all relevant climate change-related funds.
- The upcoming 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC as well as the climate summit to be convened by the Secretary General in 2019 should highlight the particular challenges of the LDCs.
- Desertification, land degradation and drought have continued to hamper sustainable development efforts of LDCs. A billion hectares are affected by desertification in LDCs in Africa alone leading to estimated losses of approximately $ 9 billion a year. As a result, sustainable development remains elusive for many LDCs.
- Land degradation and desertification particularly in LDCs also carry a high human cost. Millions have already been uprooted from their traditional lands as a result of desertification and land degradation. In many instances, they contribute to political instability, starvation, and social breakdown. Increased international support is essential to address these challenges facing many LDCs.
- We welcome the findings and recommendations of the report of the Secretary-General on Crisis Mitigation and Resilience Building for LDCs. It duly mentions that the existing multilateral risk reduction strategies and mechanisms are insufficient for LDCs, as they are often inadequately funded. We hope that the international community would be forthcoming on the establishment of a “comprehensive multi-stakeholder resilience-building mechanism for LDCs”, leveraging the existing measures and initiatives.
- Access to affordable energy has been a fundamental challenge to most of the LDCs. We have seen some progress in access to electricity which rose from 32.3 per cent of population in 2010 to 38.3 per cent in 2014. However, this progress happened only for 26.5 per cent rural population in the LDCs.
- Slow expansion of energy supply, high user fees, owing in part to an energy mix that is tilted towards fuel-powered energy plants, and enduring losses in the transmission and distribution in electricity as well as the lack of investment hinder faster growth in access to energy in LDCs. The notable improvement in the competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies would offer new opportunities to many LDCs to increase access and make such technologies more affordable and accessible.
I thank you all for your kind attention.