Intervention by Her Excellency Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at CDP virtual Open Session for ECOSOC Members on Friday 26 February 2021

Mr. President

Professor José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria, Chair of the CDP

Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues.

A very good morning to you all.

On behalf of my Government, it is my distinct honour to thank the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) for recommending Bangladesh’s graduation. This is a momentous occasion; a very special moment for us.  This has been a long-cherished aspiration of our entire nation. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Nepal and Lao PDR for achieving this milestone with us.

This comes at an auspicious time when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our independence and the birth centenary celebrations of our Founding Father.  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina envisioned to transform Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041.  She has led us to this historic moment despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

We have just completed the organizational session of the LDC V preparatory committee meetings (Prepcom).  As one of the co-chairs of the prepcom, we look forward to a transformative Programme of Action for the LDCs in the coming decade. We are having important discussions in the Africa Regional Review meeting now. We are working towards hosting the Asia-Pacific meeting in Dhaka soon. That meeting will have specific focus on graduation issues.  We encourage Member States, all UN entities, and other stakeholders to remain meaningfully engaged in the process in the lead up the LDC5 conference in Doha in 2022.

 Mr. President,

The graduation of an LDC is not only a success of the country itself, but also a testimony of the strength of multilateral partnership led by the UN. Graduation, however, comes with many challenges.  Amid the ongoing pandemic, the graduating countries are concerned that graduation may doubly jeopardize their development journey, both by the COVID-19 consequences and the loss of LDC-specific support measures. There are multidimensional vulnerabilities, such as climate change, which poses an additional threat.   It is, therefore, imperative to ensure continued and strengthened international support measures to the graduating and graduated LDCs. The upcoming LDC-V conference, the 12th WTO Ministerial, and the COP-26 provide us with important opportunities to come up with new and innovative support measures for them.

 I would like to conclude by thanking the entire CDP membership led by Professor Ocampo for their extraordinary support and cooperation in our graduation journey. I would also like to thank USG Fekitamoeloa and her team in the OHRLLS for their invaluable support to us throughout this process. I also thank all members of the Friends of LDCs and our development partners for being with us in this journey.

I thank you all.