I thank you Co-Chairs for giving me the floor. And congratulations on a very good start to the thematic panel discussions.
Minister Gould, Distinguished Panelists,
I thank Minister Gould and the panelists for their excellent statements – insightful and thought- provoking. And for touching upon some of the most critical elements such as vaccines crisis, TRIPS waiver, climate impact, migrants’ crisis, imperative for universal health care and universal education, etc. I thank them for making some bold recommendations for actions.
‘Eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere’ is an overarching goal for Agenda-2030. Yet global efforts for poverty reduction had always been on a slow track. And now, the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the poverty situation globally; and the spotlight is on the LDCs.
My own country Bangladesh made significant progress in reducing poverty, which is now about 20.2%; and extreme poverty is down to 10.5%.
Women empowerment remains central in our efforts in this regard. We have extensive social safety net programs, decent work, and financial inclusion programmes for the vulnerable groups. And these strategies are now helping our COVID-19 response programmes for the most vulnerable.
However, we are concerned that the multidimensional impacts of the pandemic, particularly the downturn in commodity prices, global trade and FDI, travel, and remittances flow are going to slow down our progress. We need a new paradigm for collaboration in poverty eradication.
We wish to see enhanced global support and actions geared towards poverty eradication in the next programme of action for the LDCs.
I would like to highlight a couple of areas, and have some specific questions in this regard:
First, poverty alleviation is a multidimensional phenomenon, which requires a whole of society approach. We need to address root causes of poverty and create opportunities. There must be innovative approaches to create new social investments, businesses, jobs, connecting to national, regional, and global value chains etc., to ensure upward mobility of the poor. But how do we do that? Would like to hear from the panelists, how we can foster productive capacity building and financial inclusion of the LDCs as we build back better from the pandemic.
Second, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many potentials for harnessing the power of STI to eradicate poverty. How can the big businesses, technology firms, and rich economies leverage the evolving digital economy to help LDCs fight against the growing trend of poverty and inequality and move towards inclusive growth and development?
And finally, poverty is a vicious cycle which often traps successive generations. And this places a serious impediment for utilizing the demographic dividends of the LDCs. Many youths in LDCs are trapped in extreme poverty, deprived of opportunities, impeding their ability to achieve necessary education and skills to compete for decent jobs. We must prevent poverty to be an inter-generational phenomenon. How do we mobilize targeted resources and financing to ensure opportunities for youth in LDCs to be integrated in the national and global job market?
Let me rest it here.
I thank you Co-Chairs.