Statement by Mr. Monwar Hossain, Deputy Permanent Representative at the organizational session of the Preparatory Committee for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, New York, 8 February 2021 Agenda item 6. General Statement

Madam Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statements made by the chairs of the G-77 and the LDCs.

My delegation joins others in congratulating you and Ambassador Robert Rae of Canada on your elections as the Co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee Bureau for the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs. We also congratulate all other bureau members on their elections. We assure the entire bureau of our fullest support to advance its work.

Madam Chair,

 The IPOA achieved some significant progress. Since 2011, 4 LDCs have graduated while eleven more are on different stages of graduation track. Yet the targets in all its eight priority areas are still very distant. The LDCs account for 12% of the global population, but less than 2% of the world’s GDP and 1% of global exports. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation in LDCs.

The 5th UN Conference on LDCs in Qatar offers a good opportunity to chart out a new roadmap for LDCs. We need an ambitious agenda to address the high degree of vulnerability from which the LDCs have been suffering historically.

Allow me to briefly highlight a few issues:

First, we echo the call to declare COVID-19 vaccine a global public good. The transfer of technology and flexibility under IPR to LDCs could be the most effective and affordable way to achieve this goal. Some LDCs have the required capacity for mass production of vaccines. The UN Technology Bank for LDCs can be an ideal conduit in this regard.

Second, we must close the burgeoning resource gap in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in LDCs. It is imperative to have specific focus on delivery of the LDC-specific commitments in the next PoA. The G-7, G-20, OECD, international financial institutions, and private sector should come forward to fulfill their unmet promises in the areas of FDI, FFD, ODA, technology transfer, and preferential trade.

Third, there is a strong case in point for an incentives-based graduation pathway for LDCs, that would include time-bound support measures in post-graduation phase. We will have an in-depth discussion on this issue in the Asia-Pacific regional conference in Dhaka in the lead-up to the LDC5 conference.

Fourth, migrant workers from LDCs are among the most directly affected by the socio-economic fallout of this pandemic. It is imperative to ensure international support measures for migrant workers to cope with the COVID-19 job market and beyond. We expect LDC-5 to come up with an agreement on migration and remittances that will maximize the benefits of migration to LDCs.

Fifth, limited export base of LDCs and difficulties in diversification of the same is a challenge, which has been compounded further by the pandemic. International support measures such as aid for trade, trade facilitation, and enhanced market access for LDCs have become more essential in the wake of the pandemic than ever before.

 Sixth, we are concerned about the rising trend in poverty, for the first time since 1998, due to the devastating impact of the pandemic. To overcome this situation, we need a new paradigm for collaboration in poverty eradication. We expect the next PoA to incentivize job creation, scaled up social protection, women empowerment, leveraging STI and digitization in LDCs.

Finally, the pandemic is proving to be a double blow for climate vulnerable LDCs.  Amid the outbreak of Covid-19, many LDCs, including Bangladesh was struck by disasters, cyclones, typhoons, and floods. LDCs require enhanced climate financing for mitigation and adaptation related capacity building and R&D. The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) must scale up its efforts now to help the transition of the LDCs towards climate-resilient growth.

The list is not an exhaustive one. We are embarking on a new process today, which will bring to the fore many other key priorities and challenges of the LDCs. We look forward to remaining engaged with all the partners to help LDCs fulfill their priorities in LDC5.

I thank you all.