Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
SIXTY EIGHT SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ELEVENTH MEETING OF THE OWG ON SDGs
(Energy, Economic growth, employment and infrastructure)
H.E.MR. JEAN -FRANCIS R. ZINSOU
AMBASSADOR PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BENIN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
CHAIR OF THE GLOBAL COORDINATION BUREAU OF LDCs
NEW YORK, 7 MAY 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of LDCs. This statement supplements the statement made by Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.
On energy, the group of LDCs would broadly support the targets elaborated in the working document. However, the Group has some concerns over the targets under 7 d and e.
Target 7 d on clean and low-or zero emission technology should have a similar and corresponding target under the means of implementation with the additional provision of transfer of low or zero emission technologies by the developed countries to LDCs. Target 7 (e) would not be relevant for LDCs. Additionally, the Group would like to see the following two targets, which were articulated earlier:
(a) Increase total primary energy supply per capita for LDCs to the same level as other developing countries; (IPoA)
(b) At least double the share of electricity generation through renewable energy sources by 2020 (IPoA) and double further by 2030.
On means of implementation, the group would like to see following concrete targets:
(a) Provide enhanced financial support to LDCs to invest in modern energy infrastructure including energy production, trade and distribution with a view to ensuring access to energy for all; (IPoA) and
(b) Provide modern energy technologies, including low or zero emissions energy technologies, to LDCs on a preferential basis.
[Economic growth, employment and infrastructure]
The current cluster includes the most crucial priority areas for LDCs, many of them have been addressed under productive capacity building, which is the first and foremost priority area of the IPoA.
The Group of LDCs would prefer to maintain standalone goals on each of the priority areas under this cluster. By combining three important focus areas into one, a number of important issues captured in the earlier version of the document have been omitted, which need to be rectified. The Group of LDCs also made some concrete proposals, which have not been reflected in the text.
On economic growth, the group of LDCs would like to maintain a standalone goal with the title “attain rapid, sustained and inclusive economic growth”.
The Group supports target “a” with a formulation of “sustain higher income growth” in the beginning. We support first half of the target 8 (d), given there is concrete provision of support on technical know-how and technologies for LDCs.
Productivity cannot be increased with primitive technologies, which LDCs are currently using. The second half of the target 8 (d) relating to emission reduction does not apply to LDCs as per existing legal documents. We fully support 8 (f) on productive capacity building in LDCs. However, it needs to be linked with “structural transformation” as it was in the earlier version of the document.
The group of LDCs would like to see the following specific targets reflected in the next version of the document:
(a) Achieve at least 7 per cent economic growth per annum in the LDCs, (IPoA)
(b) Enhance the mobilization of domestic resources and foreign investment to achieve at least 40 per cent investment to GDP ratios in LDCs against the current rate of 22 per cent.
(c) Enable half the number of least developed countries to meet the criteria for graduation by 2020, (IPoA). This specific target, as already agreed upon in the IPoA, needs to be captured in the text.
(d) Promote inclusive and job-rich economic growth policies to benefit the poor and the marginalized groups of the society.
With regard to the means of implementation for achieving sustained economic growth, LDCs would need steady and predictable access to enhanced financing and technology from all sources.
On employment, the Group of LDCs supports the provisions under 8 b. On 8 c, we support the mid-term target of halving the youth unemployment by 2020, but needs to have a target of full youth employment by 2030. In the Rio +20 outcome document, the Head of States and Government recognized the need for a global strategy on youth and employment, and urged governments to address the global challenge of youth employment by developing and implementing strategies and policies that provide young people everywhere access to decent and productive work.
The Group would like to retain the earlier proposal of the Co-Chairs on a target on “promoting non-farm employment opportunities in rural areas”.
Means of implementation should include, among others, building productive capacity, access to credit, access to and the application of job-rich technologies and providing training and skills including vocational training.
On infrastructure, the group of LDCs would support the target on 8 (g). The Group would like to draw the attention of the Co-Chairs on the following. By combining “infrastructure” with other focus areas, many of the important issues and provisions included in the earlier version of the text have been omitted in the current working document.
These include, among others, infrastructure for access to modern energy services, reliable and sustainable transport and communications, rail and road links, ports and ICT connectivity, improving water supply system, water harvesting and storage infrastructure, sewerage and wastewater treatment, improving infrastructure necessary for tourism, and trans-border infrastructure. All of them are vitally important and need to be retrieved in the next version of the text.
Infrastructure is closely related to industrialization, to sustainable cities and other human settlements and to urban and rural development,
Additionally, the group would like to make the following proposals:
(a) Ensure that LDCs reach the level of high-income developing countries in combined rail and paved road mileage and sea and air networks; (based on IPoA)
(b) Significantly increase access to telecommunication services, including cellular phones and ensure providing 100 per cent broadband connectivity; (based on IPoA) and
(c) Promote infrastructure for agricultural productivity and rural development.
On the means of implementation, LDCs would like to make the following proposals:
(a) Donor countries should fulfil their ODA commitment of 0.15-0.20 per cent to LDCs immediately and review their ODA commitment and provide 50% of their ODA to LDCs by 2015.
(b) Establish an investment promotion regime for LDCs to foster FDI in the infrastructure building of LDCs.
(c) Provide debt relief and access to concessionary finance to LDCs, and
(d) Provide access to technologies.
I thank you all for your kind attention.