Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli called for financial and technological assistance and concrete support measures to help the Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) recover better from the pandemic and address their debt vulnerabilities.
Addressing the ‘High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond’ on behalf of 32 LLDCs this morning, the Prime Minister said that the LLDCs were struggling in responding effectively to the current crisis because of the decline in trade and tourism earnings, reduced FDI, and servicing of external debts amid plunging foreign exchange inflows.
He emphasized the need of global coordination and cooperation mechanism for joint trade and investment promotion for crisis-relief, recognizing the special needs of the LLDCs. He stressed the importance of their capacity development to promote LLDCs’ trade and structural economic transformation. Among the LLDCs, the financial gap to implement the SDGs in the land-locked least developed countries is more acute; therefore, they need predictable external support measures in the form of aid, investment, and technology transfer, he stated.
He also urged the UN system, the international community, and international financial institutions to support development of strong and resilient health systems in the LLDCs and to prioritize their special needs in the recovery and rebuilding process.
The Meeting was jointly convened by the UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres and Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica on the margins of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. It featured a total of 60 speakers including 41 Heads of State/Government and 6 Ministers.
Full Statement of PM Oli Delivered at conference on behalf of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries at the High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond
On behalf of the Group of 32 Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), I commend the Governments of Canada and Jamaica as well as the United Nations Secretary-General for convening this High-level Meeting.
We welcome the timely initiative for coordinated and multilateral efforts on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyondlaunched on 28th May 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put public health systems and our economies under stress. It has severely impacted people’s lives and livelihoods.
While the developed countries have undertaken the unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy measures to save their economies from the crisis, the policy response in many developing countries, especially in the most vulnerable like LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS have been weaker because of decline in trade and tourism earnings, reduced FDI, and servicing of external debts amid plunging foreign exchange inflows.
On behalf of the LLDC group, I wish to extend our support to the options outlined in the documents before us and, in particular, call for the concerted actions in the following areas:
First, we urgently need the suggested global coordination and cooperation mechanism for joint trade and investment promotion for crisis-relief. Such mechanism should give priority to the special needs of the LLDCs that require capacity development to harness trade, achieve structural economic transformation and to realize the SDGs.
Second, financial support to LLDCs is critical to boost up the urgently needed resilient infrastructure and trade facilitation mechanisms for smooth flow of goods which are key to their recovery.
Third, LLDCs need to be supported in their efforts to achieve digital transformation.
Fourth, we call on the international community to support development of strong and resilient health systems, underpinned by universal health coverage, that focus on equitable access, quality and financial protection, and easy and affordable access to vaccines once they are released.
Fifth, concrete support measures should be put in place to address debt vulnerabilities including through debt cancellation for highly indebted countries, debt relief by international creditors, exchange or reprofile debt to reduce debt service, writing-off debt, debt swaps for highly indebted countries, debt buy-backs and support market access.
Sixth, we call on our development partners to maintain current official development assistance levels given its crucial importance to support our countries to recover sustainably. Among the LLDCs, the financial gap to implement the SDGs appears more acute in the LDCs. They need predictable external support measures in the form of aid, investment, technology innovation, development and transfer.
Seventh, we call on International Financial Institutions to prioritize the special needs of the LLDCs in their recovery efforts.
Eighth, we request the UN system and other international and regional organizations to give priority support to the LLDCs’ recovery efforts – including the effective execution of Roadmap for accelerated implementation of the Vienna Program of Action.
Finally, we call on the private sector to actively engage in the recovery efforts, particularly in sustainable development projects, including through the PPPs.
To conclude, let me reiterate the unfailing support of the LLDC Member States in implementing the global development agenda.