Consultative Meeting of LDCs and Friends of LDCs on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in LDCs
28 June 2017, Glen Cove Mansion, Glen Cove, New York

Mr. Gauri Pradhan with Ms Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General for UN OHRLLS

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank UN OHRLLS for providing me this space to speak on behalf of LDC CSOs at this “Consultative Meeting of LDCs and Friends of LDCs on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in LDCs.” I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Ms Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu for her appointment as the new USG and High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. I wish her all the best for her successful tenure and keenly look forward to closely working together for achieving the goals set for LDCs in IPoA, SDGs and other internationally agreed development goals (OIADGs) under her able and dynamic leadership.

A year ago, we had come together to appropriately review and appraise the achievements and challenges we had made so far in the first five years of Istanbul Programme of Action held in Antlya, Turkey. While reviewing the implementation of IPoA in action, we had expressed our happiness for achieving some of the indicators of MDGs by some LDCs whereas asserted our frustration for slow, unsustained and uneven development taking place in most of the LDCs. In MTR, we had also clearly identified the unfavourable economic environment and inadequate delivery of the global commitments by the international development partners including the lack of adequate domestic reforms, national ownership and leadership as the main causes for missing the opportunity to achieve the goals of IPoA.

Established in 2001, LDC Watch has been closely working with the national governments, regional institutions and international donors and development partners for revitalising genuine “partnerships for transformative change in LDCs” and to enhance people’s power to resilience for their survival and development in the LDCs. We articulate the needs and aspirations of poor and the marginalised population and build them into rational and strong arguments that are acknowledged and addressed by the national, regional and global development partners, including governments and private parties.

In most of the LDCs, we have been actively engaged through our national focal points to work with their government counterparts for adapting IPoA, SDGs and OIADGs into their national planning and budget. In this process, we appreciate the LDC governments for providing CSO space while formulating their strategies and plans of action for national development. However, we have observed that most of the LDC governments are facing serious resource; capacity and institutional constraints to domesticate and integrate SDGs, IPoA and other internationally agreed development goals (IADGs) into their national planning and budget system.

Just a few days before, on June 21-22 2017, we successfully organised the West African CSO Forum on Graduation from LDC in reference to IPoA and SDGs 2030 in Dakar, Senegal. The forum has intensively discussed on synergy and coherence between IPOA and SDGs 2030 for building a self-sustained, developed and prosperous West Africa. During the two-day consultation, the Forum has assessed the challenging situation of the fight in reducing poverty, climate vulnerability, food insecurity, trade deficiency, public health crisis and armed conflict and post-armed conflict in West Africa. The Twenty Point West African CSO Declaration, therefore, has called upon all the concerned stakeholders including the governments, donor-partner development agencies and CSOs for their combined efforts to achieve the goal “no one should leave behind” as stated in the 2030 development agenda.

As we all know, the category of LDCs was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly with a view to bringing the most vulnerable members of its family into the global development system through building their capacity to fight against poverty, disease and hunger. Efforts to reverse LDCs’ increasing marginalisation in the global economy and put them on a path to sustained, accelerated, pro-poor growth and development date back to the 1980s. But the progress we have witnessed in this direction in not slow but also uneven and unsustainable.

If SDGs is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity in the real sense, no one should forget the LDCs for their equitable, sustainable and prosperous development. We cannot imagine the world to be a better place if the faith of LDCs remain as it is. Therefore, We, as the representative of LDC CSOs, would like to call on to all concerned stakeholders including government, donor partners, and development agencies to work hand in hand and fulfil their commitments they have made for the equitable, sustainable and pro-poor development in LDCs. We also urge the LDC governments to come together to raise a united voice to develop their negotiating capacities in the international platform to ensure that their concerns and demands are rightly reflected in international negotiations.

Development is just not a give and take business, it’s a solidarity in action. It’s a proven fact that the world needs a basic paradigm shift in the field of development as the ongoing global development system is not functioning well. As a representative of CSOs in LDCs, we commit ourselves to remain active, productive and supportive for achieving our common goals for making the world a better place for all.

I wish you all the best for a meaningful consultation!

Thank you!