The countries participating in the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which is currently being held in Doha, called for accelerating the implementation of the pledges made by the developed countries to advance development in the least developed countries, especially in light of the multiple crises the world is currently experiencing.
High-level officials, who spoke today at the fifth discussion session of the conference, stressed that recurring crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, and climate change had the greatest negative effects on the least developed countries. Therefore, the time has come for the developed countries to fulfill their pledges and make progress. Assistance to affected countries, in the form of financial support and direct investment.
They also stressed that international institutions must show greater flexibility to assist developing and least developed countries, especially in times of global crises, and to go beyond traditional policies and ready-made templates that are no longer able to respond to emerging development requirements. They called for easing debt burdens and restructuring them into development projects, so that the least developed countries could focus on investing in their youth potential and natural resources, which, if utilized optimally, are capable of achieving the desired developmental leap. The representatives of the countries stressed that education, health and the use of modern technology are the main elements that must be focused on to help the least developed countries, without neglecting the other elements, which are financial support and direct investment.
His Excellency Mr. Mounir bin Rjiba, Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Tunisians Abroad, said that despite the passage of more than 50 years since the establishment of the group of least developed countries, and the multiplicity of international action programs and the promises they contained to help these countries achieve economic, social and human development, the outcome It did not live up to the aspirations of its people for a decent life and sustainable development.
He added that the economies of these countries have worsened now, as there is a severe recession and shocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to lose the modest development gains that were achieved during the past decade in the field of poverty reduction. He warned that the great discrepancy in recovery capabilities between developed countries and developing and least developed countries will contribute to many less developed countries falling behind, especially after the world entered into a series of crises that deepened food insecurity and led to an unprecedented rise in the prices of basic materials and energy. . He pointed out that the escalation of debt burdens and the shrinking of financing sources, along with the deepening of geostrategic divisions, has brought the world into a dangerous phase of uncertainty, and has weakened multilateral action and international cooperation mechanisms.
He stressed that the effects of these crises were more severe on vulnerable groups in the least developed countries, but their repercussions also affected developing countries and middle-income countries, depleting their capabilities and weakening their ability to withstand and sustain, and one of its repercussions was the departure of a number of citizens, especially from sub-Saharan Africa. To their countries to search for a better future, risking their lives across land and sea in order to join, especially European countries. For his part, HE Raul Silvero, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay, said: The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries is a unique opportunity to ensure that these countries are not left behind, advance their ambitions, and unleash their potential for prosperity.
He stressed that what is required now is that developed countries and international institutions stand by the least developed countries to confront the challenges of poverty, climate change and food security, by increasing funding for development goals and infrastructure.
In turn, His Excellency Mr. Omar Hilal, Permanent Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, said: The Doha Conference is taking place in an international context marked by the repercussions of a series of successive and interconnected crises, which had dire and multidimensional effects, especially on the least developed countries, which revealed the need to give the same New international cooperation and the development of its mechanisms to support these countries.
He called on the international community to adopt a package of solidarity and effective initiatives in line with the Doha Work Programme, aimed at supporting the efforts of economic take-off and sustainable development in the least developed countries, and integrating them into the global economy, by increasing the volume of international support for development, facilitating their access to markets, and easing from the burdens of its external indebtedness, strengthening its productive capabilities, and investing in diversifying its sources of economic growth.
For her part, Her Excellency Ms. Vanessa Fraser, Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, affirmed that the least developed countries still face severe difficulties in achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030, noting the commitment of her country and the European Union to strengthening global partnerships with the group of these countries.
Her Excellency spoke about the difficulties faced by the least developed countries, especially in the aftermath of the (Covid-19) pandemic, which negatively affected the social and economic aspects of these countries due to the decline in exports, the cessation of international tourism in some countries, the decrease in remittances, and the shrinking of foreign direct investment. Speaking at the plenary session of the conference, Her Excellency Ms. Matilda Bartley, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, where she indicated that eight members of the Small Island Developing States are among the least developed countries, and the situation in them is getting more dangerous in times of crisis , which contributed to the elimination of a large proportion of the development gains in these countries.
She pointed out that the least developed countries are characterized by their low level of human development, but they carry high risks of economic and environmental vulnerability, and therefore the matter calls for rapid action by the international community to ensure sustainability in these countries.
For his part, HE Francisco André, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Portugal, said that his country will always remain one of the strongest advocates for the rights of the least developed countries, and strongly supports the full implementation of the Doha Work Program 2022-2031. In this context, he stressed the importance of strengthening the participation of least developed countries in global value chains, promote open and fair trade rules, invest in training a skilled workforce capable of driving economic growth, and create "Sustainable Graduate Support Facility" in due course, which will advise countries on preparing for LDC graduations.
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