Least Developed Countries take center stage

The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) concluded its first part today, 17 March 2022, as Member States at the United Nations headquarters in New York adopted the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022–2031 (DPoA). The conference comes at a critical time as the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 continue to bear down on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people the most and have reversed some of the progress made by the least developed countries (LDCs) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Now, more than ever, bold actions are needed to keep the world’s promise to “leave no one behind”.

The new DPoA will guide international support for LDCs and policy actions to be taken by LDCs themselves over the next decade. It has both direct and indirect implications for the work of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) in exercising its mandates to regularly review the list of LDCs and to monitor the development progress of graduating and recently graduated countries. At its 24th Plenary session in February 2022, the CDP recommended that priority should be given to those elements of the DPoA that enable LDCs to expand productive capacities for sustainable development. It further stressed that development and trading partners, as well as other members of the international community, should translate the DPoA into the implementation of concrete policies and activities. This is echoed in the call made by the Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations on behalf of the LDC group during his statement following the adoption of the DPoA for "implementation, implementation, implementation".

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