Statement at Launch Event OECD Report

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

25 July 2019 
Praia, Cabo Verde

Distinguished delegates, 
Ladies and gentlemen, 

I am truly honored to share this moment with you all. 

For me, this moment is especially significant as we launch the report in the margins of the second meeting of the SIDS National Focal Points meeting. This is a mechanism  OHRLLS launched last year. We did so because it is critical that we enhance the coherence of SIDS issues in UN processes, including at the national, regional and global levels. Your report will certainly provide much food for thought as we look at key issues affecting SIDS over the next two days. Thank you OECD for a very timely and comprehensive report on how access to financing changed in Cabo Verde after graduating from the LDC category. 
The report shows us that while total ODA increased after graduation, there is a real risk that finance for social sectors can decline due to changing aid modalities. The report also is telling in identifying that persisting vulnerabilities, including climate related and debt distress, need to be addressed. This new report is clearly an important tool for Cabo Verde as the country seeks to achieve its national development goals and the internationally agreed commitments, including the SAMOA Pathway and the SDGs.
I will add that this report is also vitally important for other SIDS that graduated more recently or are at various stages in the graduation process.These include Vanuatu, which will graduate next year, Sao Tome and Principe and Solomon Islands, which will both graduate in 2024, as well as Tuvalu, Kiribati and Timor Leste, which have all met the graduation criteria. These countries will especially benefit from the lessons provided in the OECD report and can build on them in their own smooth transition strategies for graduating from the LDC category.
OHRLLS provides support to these countries and looks forward to working more closely with the OECD in this respect. We must ensure that support to graduated countries does not end abruptly or changes to less favourable an environment. Let there be no doubt,  more work of the OECD on transition finance for other graduating countries would be welcome. Let us advocate together towards improving access to various sources of finance for graduating LDCs in order to avoid any disruption towards both momentum and progress in achieving the SDGs. 

What we now need is concrete, workable recommendations on how traditional and innovative finance can help  build productive capacity including in and for the “Blue Economy”, through local entrepreneurship and infrastructure financing, especially in transitioning to sustainable energy and ensuring broadband access. The Secretary General of the UN, in his roadmap for Financing the 2030 Agenda that will be launched in September, plans to urge the international development community to develop a package of incentives to further the development progress of graduating LDCs, including  enhancing access to new sources of financing.
I once again  congratulate the Government of Cabo Verde and OECD on this excellent report. I pledge the full support of the United Nations in this most important endeavor.