UN Member States Adopt Bold New Compact to help LDCs Recover from COVID and Meet Development Goals
United Nations Member States Adopt Bold New Compact to help Least Developed Countries Recover from COVID and Meet Development Goals
(New York, March 17) Two years after the world began its epic struggle against COVID-19, the member states of the United Nations today adopted a historic new compact to support the countries whose vulnerabilities it most exposed.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the 46 countries in the least developed category have suffered through vaccine inequity, inadequate pandemic-fighting resources, and spiraling debt. Today’s agreement, known as the Doha Programme of Action, aims to ensure that the most vulnerable states are firmly placed back at the top of the international agenda.
Named after the Host City of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031 (DPoA), commits the world to a new generation of renewed and strengthened commitments between the Least Developed Countries and their development partners, as well as the private sector and civil society.
The conference opened today in New York but will continue next March in Doha.
The split format was deemed necessary to ensure a safe and in-person gathering in Doha but also in recognition of the fact that the Least Developed Countries cannot wait another year for the package of international support measures contained within the DPoA.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said:
“We are confident that the Doha Programme of Action will serve as a roadmap and a solid basis to raise the level of ambition and leave no one behind. It reflects a commitment from all partners to provide more resources and help realize the full potential offered by science, technology and innovation, as it contains important tools and measures to foster change in the Least Developed Countries, and achieve sustainable development.”
Part 2, in Doha, will be a five-day conference of announcements, dialogues and commitments to deliver on the promise of the DPoA. Together with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Heads of State and Government will gather to assess progress and agree new plans and actions.
Laying out five lifelines for the Least Developed Countries, including action on climate, peace and security and finance reform, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said:
“The Least Developed Countries can count on the total commitment of the entire UN system. First in our plans. First in our investments. And always first in our actions.”
Doha will represent a crucial litmus test for the progress promised in the DPoA and many new initiatives to accelerate sustainable development will be announced there.
Speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the LDC Group, the President of Malawi, H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, said:
“The current global context could not be more pressing. It demands a collaborative, collective, and courageous response. It demands the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action, for it is our best opportunity for charting a recovery path for the world’s most vulnerable countries. Action is our only hope.”
The Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, the organising office of LDC5 within the United Nations, has already started work on some key projects identified in the Programme of Action.
A Graduation Support Facility, called iGRAD, will provide advisory services to help countries prepare for smooth graduation and support their efforts into sustainable development.
Urging member states to begin their implementation of the DPoA immediately, Acting High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Heidi Schroderus-Fox, said:
“By signing this new promise today, we say to the world that solidarity cannot be a zero-sum game. It is now more urgent than ever to work towards a new multilateralism to deliver a more secure, prosperous, equal, and healthy planet.”
For more information, please go to the LDC5 website or contact Conor O’Loughlin, Head of Advocacy for the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Doha Programme of Action can be read on the LDC5 website here.
The LDCs are: Afghanistan; Angola; Bangladesh; Benin; Bhutan; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Central African Republic; Chad; Comoros; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Haiti; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Lesotho; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; Niger; Rwanda; Sao Tome and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tuvalu; Uganda; United Republic of Tanzania; Yemen and Zambia. Vanuatu was the latest country to graduate from the category and did so in late 2020.
To learn more about the Least Developed Country category and the criteria used for graduation, see the LDC5 website here.