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Statement by H.E Ambassador Anouparb VONGNORKEO, Permanent Representative of the Lao PDR to United Nations at the 1st Part of Fifth United Nations Conference for the Least Developed Countries (LDC5 Part 1)

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Mr. President,

The adoption of the Doha Programme of Action today marks an important milestone for the international community, reaffirming that no-one will be left behind.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express our gratitude to the Permanent Representatives of Bangladesh and Canada for their leadership in guiding the Preparatory Committee's work, particularly in facilitating the Doha Programme of Action's negotiation. Likewise, my delegation would like to register our appreciation to UN-OHRLLS for the unwavering support rendered throughout the process which has led to finalization of the new Program of Action. We highly appreciate the valuable support by the Government of the State of Qatar for ensuring the success of the LDC5 Conference.

Mr. President,

My delegation wishes to highlight three specific points as follows:

FIRST: Lao PDR together with Bangladesh and Nepal are recommended to graduate from LDC category in 2026. Graduating from LDC status has always been an ambitious goal for Lao government. Towards this end, since early 2000, our National Social-Economic Development Plans have outlined specific targets toward achieving this objective, taking into account the specific development situation emerged in each period. The newly adopted Doha Programs of Action for LDCs will also be streamlined into the national planning process in order to lay a strong foundation for smooth and sustainable graduation.

SECOND: The adoption of DPoA today will reinforce our capacity to cope with impacts of Covid-19 as well as financial and climate crisis. Despite having met the LDC graduation thresholds on all three criteria (GNI, HAI and EVI), it does not imply that all challenges the country has encountered will end prior and beyond our graduation. In this connection, ODA remains crucial source of external financing for development in LDCs including Lao PDR. In light of declining ODA, new sources for financing development are needed and scaling up support from Development Partners, UN system, financial institutions and private sector is more crucial than ever.

FINALLY: The DPoA contains of number of commitments by LDCs and Development Partners that are expected to bring transformative progress. We are delighted that the development partners have reaffirmed their strong commitment for the key deliverables.

Mr. President,

It is encouraging to see the action for extension of international support measures for graduating LDCs reflected in the DPoA, along with enhanced support from the Intern-agency Task Force and the establishment of Sustainable Graduation Support Facility. In this regard, the implementation of a national smooth transition strategy requires continued supports from development and trading partners and the UN system so as to avoid any abrupt reductions in ODA, which include special and preferential treatments, Aid for Trade, other technical and financial assistance. In addition, the extension of trade preferences and the provision of climate change-related finance and technological support remain critical.

Mr. President,

We should be mindful that graduation from LDC status is not an end goal, continued necessary supports must be ensured so that the graduating country will not slip back to LDC after graduation. I wish to reiterate the Lao PDR’s firm commitment to continue working closely with all partners and we count on continued support in the follow-up and implementation of the DPoA.

I wish our deliberation during this first part a great success and we look forward to the 2nd Part of LDC5 in 2023.

Thank you.