By PIANGO, March 15, 2018

Lack of financial security and economic stability is a major contribution to the countries being classed as Least Developed. Head of the Pacific Office for United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Iosefa Maiava said that strengthening this would enable the Least Developed Countries to graduate or move ahead from where they are. “The way the economy operates and maintains itself will indicate if that country can sustain itself and more importantly move onto a higher level away from the LDC category.” Maiava was speaking at the Regional Consultation of Pacific LDCs’ Civil Society Organisations jointly organised by LDC Watch and Pacific Island Association of NGOs (PIANGO). The Regional Consultation began in Suva today. Delivering the keynote address, Maiava urged Pacific Island delegates present to work together to move the region forward.

Countries in the Pacific that fall in the LDC category are Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Amongst presenters over the first day were representatives from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Network on Globalisation, the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network. LDC Watch Global Coordinator Gauri  Pradhan shared the vision and drive of LDC Watch to help Pacific countries understand the grouping and history of LDCs and move ahead. Pradhan, based in LDC Watch International Secretariat in Nepal, also shared that the possibility of country statuses being reversed after their graduation was a real concern. “We don’t want any country to fall back or lose their status when they have progressed. So all LDC countries need to fully understand what is required to climb up to the developing country status and what is required to maintain it.”

PIANGO Executive Director, Emele Duituturaga said that the key issue that has emerged is the need to focus on sustainable graduation for the Pacific LDCs. Representatives at this meeting are committed to work with their respective governments to raise awareness and address the issues pertaining to sustainable graduation.

 The meeting also heard from the Fiji Government’s COP23 Secretariat.

(The above news was published in The Vanuatu Independent News Magazine on March 15, 2018)

Source: The Vanuatu Independent News Magazine (2018-04-15)