Closing Statement at the Ambassadorial Level Dialogue on Addressing Sovereign Debt Distress in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS in the Time of COVID-19

Remarks by Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

18 June 2020 
New York, USA

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you all for this unprecedented level of attendance and participation today. 

I think we all are united in attaching the utmost importance to the issues at hand and which we discussed.

First, I thank the panelists for your very insightful contributions and engagement. 

It is clear that this conversation cannot and should not end here. 

The challenge before is vital, complex and multifaceted. Our business only has started and we need to continue to strengthen our engagement and find solutions.  

More than ever a United, a collective effort grounded in solidarity is a must. We must find sustainable solutions.  We must pool our efforts, bring all relevant stakeholders together and enhance partnerships to ensure that the most vulnerable are not further left behind.  
Everyone must feel great concern that between 40 to 60 million people are likely to be pushed back into extreme poverty as a result of COVID-19. This would be the first increase in three decades and wipe out hard won gains.

The LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS will be most affected.  

UN-OHRLLS is there to work with all relevant stakeholders to find solutions and more than ever we are committed to do our part in building stronger and more effective partnerships.

We will continue to be your platform for this kind of engagement. 

Together, let us respond to this pandemic and help build paths toward inclusive and sustainable futures. 

Before I conclude, I must thank Professor Léonce Ndikumana for successfully steering our discussions today as well as for his quite insightful contribution to the discussion. 

I also extend my deep appreciation to the Chairs of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS for your unwavering and strong 
collaboration in organizing this meeting.  

Thank you all.