United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at the 6th OWG-SDGs
on the countries in Special Situation in Post 2015 development agenda
NY, 11 Dec 2013
Mr. Co-Chair,
Let me begin my remarks aligning ourselves with the statement made by Fiji -on behalf of G 77 and China, and Benin – on behalf of the LDCs.
For the LDCs, Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) remains the basic document providing necessary guidance on mainstreaming least developed countries (LDCs) into the global development process. Therefore, it is important that IPoA and the Post-2015 Goals are synchronized to ensure synergy. We would thus not only focus on possible Goals and targets, but would also underscore that within all the universal Goals, the specific requirements of LDCs be harmonized.
I would stress, in both Brussels and Istanbul Plans of Action, the LDCs pledged upfront to take responsibility, nationally and doing our bit. Now, it is the responsibility of the international community to create enabling environment for development to flourish in these countries.
Let me underline a few areas that we consider critically important:
A key over-riding challenge for LDCs is to develop and enhance productive capacity. For achieving the targets, the means of implementation will have to be realistic, stable, predictable and sustainable. As we already said, fulfillment of ODA commitment by all partners is crucial for the LDCs. Within ODA, quality would require closer attention. For example, ODA allocated for LDCs should be used in LDCs, by LDCs - in a manner that ensure need-based and country-driven approach, of course in collaboration with the development partners.
Over the past two days, we heard how technology transfer, productive use of technology, and infrastructural facilities can allow countries to optimize the benefits. Skills – much beyond traditional concept of education – and technology are key elements in the LDCs future transformative equation. In that context, development of life-saving and development-friendly technologies and transfer of those to the LDCs remains key. Adoption of the LDC Resolution in the Second Committee last week, providing for a Technology Bank, is a significant step in that direction. We would look forward to its early operationalization.
We would stress on fulfilling all existing commitments made in respect of the ‘means’, including those in Monterray and in Istambul. Otherwise, the transformative goals for LDCs to achieve 7% annual growth and eventually for half of them to graduate by 2021 may remain a far cry.
Related to this is the issue of global enabling environment. Post-2015 Agenda must address mainstreaming LDCs in the global markets. The 49 countries currently has much less than 1% share in global trade. Bali has made some advancement, especially on trade facilitation. Yet, we
need to see those translated into actions, with due support to the LDCs. Equally important would be to see advancement on Doha Development Agenda.
Compared to 2000, when we embarked on MDGs, the LDCs are severely constrained by Climate Change. Much of their precious development gains, especially in social and economic arena, are increasingly at stake. For some LDCs, like Bangladesh, climate change poses an existential threat. One of the major areas that is already severely affected is agriculture – which again is the mainstay of our people. While the issues are likely to be cross-cutting, we would underline that across the targets, particular difficulties of the LDCs would be carefully addressed.
End of the day, if LDCs are to be resilient, sustainable development for LDCs will have to be translated from environmental as also from economic and social points of view. Here, I would echo what Mr. Guillomont said, vulnerability is a risk on sustainability and it augment state fragility.
Mr. Co-Chair,
We would also like to draw your attention to one particular issue, which is procedural in nature.
It is about the order in which the countries of special situation have been reflected in the programme of work of this session and in the TST Paper. We note, LDC group has been placed in deviation of long-established order in both papers. We all are aware, LDCs is a group of countries which are most vulnerable unlike any other group - in terms of absolute poverty, in terms of deprivation, in terms of lack of resilience to external and internal shocks, in terms of lack of capacity, etc. There cannot be any doubt about the level of vulnerability if one have listened to the presentation of Mr. Guillomont today. As he also said, this is the only ‘officially’ recognized group, established by the UN, back in 1971. These are the countries at the bottom of development. As we talk about development, this group should automatically come first. The same sentiment was reverberated throughout the interventions made today by the distinguished guest speakers, as well as the national and group statements. We the LDCs are appreciative of the support and solidarity expressed for the cause of LDCs.
The LDCs are spread across several continents: we have LDCs in Africa, in Asia, in the Caribbean area; we have LDCs within LLDC group, in SIDS. When we highlight concerns of LDCs, we are in fact raising our voice for the most vulnerable countries of Africa, of Asia, the most vulnerable countries within LLDCs and SIDS. We understand, there is a para in RIO+20 document, which may be the source of these documents. However, in the same document in other places, vulnerability of LDCs have been properly reflected along the long-established order. This was perhaps an omission/overlook in Rio. However, it does not change, or, cannot change the fact that LDCs are most vulnerable, least developed, poorest among the poor.
Mr. Co-Chair, we would stress that the countries in most difficult situations, receive higher attention that they deserve in the context of deliberations on post 2015 agenda. And, we would hope, the Secretariat would appropriately reflect the order in future documents of our work.