I thank you, Madam Moderator.
Good morning, dear Colleagues.
I thank USG Utoikamanu for being here with us this morning; and thank her office for organizing today’s meeting.
Ambassador Bob Rae and I, are delighted to welcome you all for this consultation. We thank you for joining us from different time zones.
With just a few days to go for the first session of the Preparatory Committee of the LDC5 Conference, we greatly welcome this opportunity to have this meeting, and to hear your perspectives and views.
The LDCs account for 12% of the global population, but less than 2% of the world’s GDP and less than 1% of global exports. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the situation further for them.
The IPOA has had some significant achievements. Sixteen LDCs are now at different stages of graduation. Yet we are still far from fulfilling our shared commitments of IPOA. LDCs remain off-track by a huge margin in fulfilling the SDGs by 2030.
The LDC5 Conference provides us with a good opportunity to reverse this situation. We need to take serious stock of the unfinished promises of the IPOA and come up with an ambitious agenda to make a transformative change in the lives and livelihoods of the people in LDCs.
The implementation cycle of the LDC5 will coincide with the final decade of action and delivery of Agenda-2030. Therefore, we must agree to a new Programme of Action that will also work as a force multiplier for accelerated implementation of the SDGs in LDCs.
But how do we achieve this? To my mind, the only way forward is to have a true multi-stakeholder partnership and a whole of society approach.
All of you present here have a wealth of experience working on the ground in the LDCs, and you are all playing a critical role. It will be so important for you to team up with the Governments in LDCs as they prepare for the LDC5 conference, to ensure a people-centered approach in their priorities and deliberations.
The development partners, MDBs, IFIs, and other stakeholders also need to put adequate attention to the needs of the LDCs during this crisis period. And your collective voice is going to be crucial in creating that urgency for strong commitments and actions. You can play a significant role in mobilizing enhanced support and commitment of the development partners for the LDCs in the lead up to Doha.
We wish to see your stepped-up engagements in the LDC5 process in the days ahead and a strong Civil Society Forum at the LDC5 Conference in Doha in January 2022. We look forward to remaining engaged with you.
I look forward to a fruitful discussion today.
I thank you all.
Over to you, Bob.