Your Excellency Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, Chair of the LDCs group,
Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin AbdulrahmanAl Thani, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of State of Qatar,
Mr. António Guterres, Secretary- General of the United Nations, Excellencies,
Allow me to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to Malawi for the able chairmanship of the LDC group and for convening this first ever Summit of the LDC group. I would also like to thank sincerely the Government and the people of the State of Qatar for the warm hospitality and the generous support for hosting this important LDC5 Conference in Doha.
This LDC Summit indeed provides a great opportunity for the LDC group to exchange our views, experiences and lessons learnt on addressing numerous challenges and seeking practical solutions [in order to implement the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs for the Decade 2022-2031 in line with our national development context in an effective and timely manner].
We meet today at a critical juncture when the international community is facing multiple challenges particularly the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial difficulties, food and energy crises and armed conflicts. The LDCs, in particular, have been severely affected by these challenges, which further exacerbated their already existing structural vulnerabilities and extreme poverty. Moreover, the decade long development progress made by the LDCs and their aspiration to graduate from the LDC status as well as the achievement of the SDG are utterly derailed from their tracks.
Against this backdrop, the LDCs are in need of the highest degree of attention from the international community to reverse the course. The adoption of the Doha Program of Action-DPoA, therefore, comes at a vital time for the LDCs, development partners, countries of the south and relevant stakeholders to implement their renewed political will and commitment. It is more crucial than ever to find solutions, not only transformative, but also more practical, effective, action-oriented, sustainable and tailored to the most pressing needs and challenges, so the most vulnerable are not left behind.
We as the LDC group need to further strengthen our unity and solidarity and ensure that we convey our strong voice and participate effectively in all relevant forums to protect and promote our common interest. At the same time, we need to mobilize global solidarity, enhanced support and renewed partnerships for addressing the development needs of the LDCs.
In this context, we are of the view that our group should continue calling on developed countries to honour their ODA commitments. They must fulfill their historic commitment to allocate between 0.15% and 0.20% of their GDP to ODA for the least developed countries. We should also call for transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building from both developed countries and developing countries to the LDCs.
For the Lao PDR having recognized multidimensional challenges and development needs of the country, the Lao Government is strongly committed to the implementation of the Programmes of Action for LDCs and other UN development cooperation frameworks. In order to achieve our national development goal of graduation, we have made every effort to mobilize resources and support from not only the traditional development partners but also our southern partners and domestic sources. We also actively participate in the ASEAN Community and other regional frameworks and initiatives.
As you are well aware, Bangladesh, Nepal and my country Lao PDR are in the transition period for graduation by 2026. Our three countries have discussed and exchanged views on our national undertakings including the development of smooth transition strategies for graduation. Taking this opportunity, we would like to invite all distinguished delegates to our joint side event titled ‘Sustainable and Smooth Transition for the Graduating Cohort 2021’ tomorrow. We hope that this joint event will be of value-added and contribute to enhancing dialogues and actions while advocating for enhanced international support measures for not only the 2021 cohort but for the LDCs as a whole.
Thank you for your kind attention!