Bangladesh Statement delivered by Md Faruk Hossain, Minister, at the Second Committee general discussion of agenda items 20: Group of Countries in Special Situations, New York, 04 October 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statements made by Cuba on behalf of the G77 and China and Nepal on behalf of the LDCs.

We thank the high representative of OHRLLS for presenting SG’s reports on the countries in special situations.

Mr. Chair

The interlinked crises of the past few years have aggravated the pre-existing challenges of the countries in special situations, compounding the multi-dimensional vulnerabilities of the LDCs, LLDCs and the SIDs.

Their economies are the hardest hit with decades of their development gains reversed.

More than ever before, they need support to mitigate the lasting impacts of the crises and build resilience against future shocks.

Mr. Chair

As the largest LDC, Bangladesh has coped with the current spate of global challenges better than many other vulnerable countries. Historically, the LDC-specific support measures such as duty and quota-free access helped our private sector build a solid manufacturing base. The TRIPS waiver allowed us to build our pharmaceutical sector. The exemptions under other WTO agreements enabled us to boost agricultural production and combat hunger and malnutrition. The international technical assistance we received helped us make concrete development plans.

However, LDCs need sustained international support to address the export marginalization that they face in international trade. Their share of global merchandise exports has hovered around just 1% since 2010.

The promises in the 2030 agenda of doubling LDCs share of global exports, like many other promises in the agenda, remain unfulfilled.

ODA targets for developing countries are on a declining trajectory. Access to low-cost, long-term, concessional, and emergency funding opportunities for them is also shrinking.

MDBs, IFIs, and public and private lending agencies are not doing enough to address the debt sustainability and debt distress of the countries in special situations.

Under the current global financial architecture, LDCs are often forced to pay high borrowing costs to access funds.   Unsustainable loans often raise the possibility of debt default, which in turn affects creditworthiness, further limiting access to loans and funds.

Mr. Chair,

There should be concerted efforts to address the climate vulnerability of LDCs as they are highly climate vulnerable. Climate financing for LDCs should be made flexible and predictable.

Technology transfer to LDCs needs to be tangible and meaningful. They need access to innovative new technologies – especially green technologies – that will help them combat the climate crisis while developing their various productive sectors.

Migrant workers from LDCs deserve fair treatment, rights protection and well-being. Over 260 million youth in LDCs need technical education, skills development, and training to enter the job market. LDCs also need massive investment in developing their human resources. We call for early commission of the online university for LDCs as agreed in the Doha Programme of Action.

Mr. Chair,

The soaring cost of food, fuel and other commodities in the international market is a major blow to the LDCs and other countries in special situations. Their import bills have ballooned, creating inflationary pressures, and affecting foreign currency reserves. Fiscal deficits are eroding their ability to invest in SDGs, infrastructure development, connectivity, health, sanitation, and social protection systems to build resilience for future shocks.

Finally, for graduating LDCs, there should be incentives for graduation. They should enjoy the LDC-specific support measures for an extended period to build their productive capacities. There should be some innovative and transitional financing mechanisms tailored to their specific needs.

Both the Doha Programme of Action and the 2030 agenda seek to ensure transformative changes in the lives and livelihoods of the people who are the furthest behind.  The international community must fulfill its commitment and redouble its efforts in assisting the LDCs to implement the DPOA.

I thank you.