UNCDF Executive Secretary
Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of LDCs.
At the outset, we congratulate Ms. Preeti Sinha on her appointment as UNCDF Executive Secretary. We assure her of our full support, and we look forward to strengthening our collaboration with UNCDF.
We thank Ms. Sinha for her comprehensive report on the UNCDFs work in the past extremely challenging year for the LDCs. We appreciate the continued efforts of the UNCDF to enhance financial inclusion and address challenges in critical areas such as e-commerce and digital financing in LDCs, especially now in their efforts to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to see them upscale their support to encourage more innovative solutions in digital health care services. We hope that they can also draw upon the many good examples and practices at the national level in some LDCs.
We are also pleased to note that UNCDF has continued its bottom-up approach in its work with local communities and municipalities, as well as with MSMEs in order to ensure the benefits of sustainable development for those left furthest behind.
We appreciate the efforts made by UNCDF in closing the digital and technological divides, especially the gender digital divide, as well as for also mainstreaming gender responsive approaches to national development processes based on gender disaggregated data. The success stories of its flagship mechanism, “LOCALE” in 14 countries in the areas of fiscal decentralization, local governance capacity-building, and financing climate-resilient infrastructure are very encouraging. We also call upon UNCDF to have tailored support for the graduating and graduated countries to ensure sustainable graduation.
As LDCs continue to seek adequate financing for fulfilling their development goals, they need continued support from the UNCDF not only to shore up traditional financing but also to tap into new and emerging financing opportunities such as blended finance instruments. They wish to take advantage of these new mechanisms in a way to integrate those with their national plans and priorities. But they often lack required knowledge and capacities. UNCDF should work with the LDCs to bridge these gaps. UNCDF’s catalytic investment portfolios have already unlocked an amount of $85 million in 7 countries from public and private sector funders. We need more such initiatives.
The group reiterates its commitment to constructive engagement and looks forward to UNCDF and the system’s continued support in ongoing LDC5 processes and the LDC5 conference in Doha 2022. I thank you.