17 September 2021

As Least Developed Countries Fight Pandemic, New 10-Year Action Programme Must Launch Transformative Change, Deputy Secretary-General Says in Video Message

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the annual ministerial meeting of least developed countries, today:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage around the world, it is having a devastating impact on the economies of least developed countries.  It will likely take several years for most least developed countries (LDCs) to return to 2019 levels of GDP [gross domestic product] per capita.

The Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Doha next year will be an invaluable chance to recover precious ground on the Sustainable Development Goals that has been lost to the pandemic.

The new 10‑year Programme of Action must be bold and ambitious, mobilizing finance for development from all sources to launch transformative change.  Several events during the upcoming high‑level week of the General Assembly offer opportunities to identify key actions and commitments.

The United Nations Food Systems Summit will identify ways to reverse the increase in hunger and malnutrition in LDCs and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind.  The High‑level Dialogue on Energy will discuss action to achieve SDG7 in LDCs, which is critical to the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The High‑level Event on Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication will aim to mobilize investments to fill gaps in social protection and create decent, green jobs.  This is vital to build a strong recovery and reduce systemic fragilities and inequalities.

We must also ensure that twenty‑sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) delivers a significant increase in climate finance for LDCs, and that 50 per cent of finance goes to adaptation and resilience.

I encourage all Member States to seize the opportunity of next year’s conference, LDC5, to build a more equitable, sustainable and resilient world.  This is vital not only for the health of LDCs, but for the world as a whole.

For our part, the United Nations will provide our full support to preparations for the Conference and the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action.  I wish you a productive meeting and look forward to seeing you in Doha!

For information media. Not an official record.