Draft concluding remarks by Her Excellency Permanent Representative and Co-Chair at the organisational session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries New York, 8 February 2021


Distinguished Members of the PrepCom Bureau

Distinguished Delegates, we are almost at the end

First of all, I thank you all. Allow me to share a few takeaways from today’s discussion before I hand over to my co-chair Ambassador Bob Rae.

We were very happy to have with us the President of the General Assembly and the Vice-President of the ECOSOC. We thank them for their statement of strong support to the LDCs. As many as 60 participants spoke in the general discussions that included many LDC delegates who presented their challenges and ambitions in the context of the next programme of action. We also heard from the donor countries and other developing countries as well as many UN entities and international organizations, who shared their perspectives, expectations, and priorities.

This provides an excellent basis for further discussions. We were happy to note there was convergence on many areas.

The deliberations of today will be reflected in the report of the 1st organizational meeting of the PrepCom. Allow me to briefly focus on five takeaways:

First: LDC5 offers extraordinary opportunities to chart out a new Global Action Agenda to help LDCs build back better from COVID-19 pandemic. The new Agenda should also focus on the accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its transformative promise of leaving no one behind in the decade of action. We also observed broad consensus on the universal access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Second: Address the devastating impacts of global climate change and its impacts by scaling up climate financing to ensure climate adaptation efforts, for the sustainable management of the environment and ecosystems, biodiversity, water and oceans.

Third: A number of priority areas have been identified in the areas of economic and social fields. Extreme poverty, malnutrition and growing inequality have been identified as imminent threats for LDCs. Strong social protection system and prioritization of funding for education and reinforced efforts to achieve SDG 4 in the LDCs were also highlighted.

Building modern, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure also came up. Empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, particularly women, youth and forcibly displaced persons, and putting them at the centre of the next roadmap was also highlighted by a good number of delegations.

Fourth: Means of implementation has been identified as key to sustainable development in LDCs. This includes fulfilment of ODA commitment to LDCs; debt cancellation measures; concessional finance; DFQF market access; building trade capacity and trade facilitation; a well-endowed FDI regime; maximizing the benefits of migration and remittances, South-South cooperation, and an incentive package for graduating and graduated LDCs.

Finally: Science technology and innovation offer new vistas of opportunities. There was also a call for more robust international cooperation to build the ICT and innovation ecosystem for seizing the potentials that LDCs have to offer through their natural resources and burgeoning youth population.

This is not an exhaustive summary. The report of this session will have the full reflection of the discussions. Ambassador Bob Rae and I look forward to an open, transparent, inclusive and participatory process to build consensus on an ambitious agenda for LDCs for next 10 years. It would be crucial for all stakeholders to engage constructively to identify the key priority areas and deliverables, bridge the gaps, find a common denominator and forge consensus.

Before I conclude, let me extend my special thanks to the Government of Qatar and its Mission to the UN, especially Ambassador Aliya Al-Thani for their wholehearted support and strong commitment to the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs.

I also thank the USG, OHRLLS and her entire team for their invaluable contribution to the substantive preparation for the Conference and its preparatory process.

I also thank the Secretary of the PrepCom and her team in the DGACM for their excellent support in preparation of today’s meeting. Finally, our special thanks to the interpreters for their patience and excellent support to us today.

I thank you all.