Graduation from LDC Status: Dhaka calls for a long-term package
Bangladesh has called for an incentive-based and long-term graduation package for the graduating and graduated countries from LDC status as they are at a high risk of sliding back -- both due to the Covid-19 impacts and the loss of LDC support measures.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen made the call while addressing as the keynote speaker a high-level virtual event on "Building Resilience for Sustainable and Irreversible Graduation of the LDCs" hosted by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Canada and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States at the UN yesterday.
Eisenhower Mkaka, MP, minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Malwai, and the chair of the Global Coordination Bureau of the LDCs, also delivered a keynote speech at the event, says a press release of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN.
Among the other high-level speakers were Achim Steiner, UNDP administrator; Liu Zhenmin, under-secretary-general, UNDESA; Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu, under-secretary-general; Taffere Tesfachew, chair of the committee for Development Subgroup on LDCs, permanent representatives of Qatar and Nepal, and deputy permanent representative of Turkey.
Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima made opening remarks while the Canadian Permanent Representative Ambassador Robert Rae made closing remarks at the event.
They are the co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee of the 5th UN conference on LDCs.
Identifying political vision as the key to a LDC's development trajectory towards graduation, Momen said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh's graduation journey from the front, the release said.
He said the recommendation by the UN Committee for Development Policy for graduation of Bangladesh was a momentous occasion for the entire nation. It coincided with the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation. Highlighting the multidimensional challenges faced by the graduating and graduated countries, the foreign minister identified access to safe and affordable Covid-19 vaccines as the top priority for the LDCs now.
He said the most effective solution of this issue will be to utilise TRIPS' (WTO agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver to transfer technology and know-how to LDCs that have the capacity to produce vaccines, the release said.
He urged upon the development partners and vaccines manufacturers to extend support in this regard.
Momen said most of the LDCs have limited fiscal buffer and absence of ex-ante insurance schemes against shocks, which make their graduation trajectory highly challenging.
He underlined the importance of adequate financing and resources as critical means for LDCs to keep pace with graduation expectation.
In this regard, he emphasised that LDCs need enhanced financing support to mitigate critical deficits in physical and institutional infrastructure and capacity building, the release added.
Among other things, the foreign minister also underscored the importance of promoting export diversification in LDCs with a firm commitment to market access, enhancing South-South and trilateral cooperation, incentivising job creation, skills development, scaled up social protection of migrants, enhancing monitoring and support mechanism in the post-graduation phase etc.