LDC5 Preparations Move up a Gear

The most ambitious agenda possible for the world’s most vulnerable states will be agreed at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha, Qatar in January 2022.

Known as LDC5, the meeting will be a major landmark in the efforts of LDCs and their partners to overcome core challenges, including the COVID crisis.  

Decisions made by world leaders at LDC5 will have the potential to transform the lives of no less than a billion of the world’s most vulnerable people.  

High Stakes

With the COVID crisis still in full flame, climate change untamed and a new economic and debt crisis rolling around the world, the stakes for LDC5 could not be higher. And so with a year to go, the preparatory process is already well underway.

The groundwork for LDC5 began in 2019, with each LDC conducting reviews of their development gains. For more information on national preparations see here. In 2020, OHRLLS co-hosted a series of global conversations relevant to LDCs on topics such as the future of work and post-pandemic recovery planning.

This spring, two regional review meetings will take place in collaboration with the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).  

The first meeting for African LDCs and Haiti is co-hosted by the Government of the Republic of Malawi and takes place from 22-26 February.  

Africa Regional Review

With 33 of the 46 LDCs in Africa, the Africa Regional Review will analyse progress made over the last decade and identify the main issues preventing further sustainable development.

To tackle these issues, the meeting will also discuss how to strengthen support provided to the LDCs by the international community to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The preparation process is based on a bottom-up approach that ensures the needs of LDCs are clarified and heard. Inputs and ideas will also be heard from other groups including the private sector, academia, youth, civil society and parliamentarians.  

African Challenges

The Least Developed Countries of Africa face multiple challenges. Weak economies and low exports compound other challenges like conflict, climate change and COVID-19.  

Before COVID-19, African LDCs and Haiti had been making progress in implementing the Istanbul Programme of Action from 2011, though from very low baselines and with large variations across the 34 countries.  

Both man-made and natural crises remain prevalent and risk derailing progress. High and recently increasing poverty rates, inequality, civil strife and political instability are widespread.  

A high rate of urbanisation among African LDCs makes cities and urban centres increasingly vulnerable to the impact of disasters. Without strong and purposeful governance that aspires towards structural transformation and sustainable development, economic and social outcomes in these LDCs will remain weak.

This is why the stakes are so high for LDC5.