Meeting for the National Focal Points of the Least Developed Countries on the
Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA)
UN Headquarters, New York, Sunday, 27 March 2016
Excellency, Friends and Colleagues,
1. This is my prime pleasure to be among you at this important gathering of national focal points of LDCs for the preparation of the Comprehensive UN High Level Mid Term Review of Istanbul Programme of Action to be held in Antalya in May 27-29, 2016. I, on behalf of LDC Watch, would like to thank USG and High Level Representative of UN OHRLLS Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya for his kind invitation. I am sure that the series of activities for the preparation of High Level MTR of IPoA will just not end in formality but will be a meaningful process and outcome to achieve its declared goals.
2. LDC Watch also would like to appreciate the role of UN-OHRLLS, International Organisations and LDC Governments for organising a number of national, regional and international consultations for the review and appraisal of the first half-decade of implementation of the IPoA.
3. I also would like to congratulate all the national focal points of LDC Governments for working hard to translate the IPoA linking with other Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs) including Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 in their country context despite so many internal and external challenges. LDCs must be prioritised and given special and differential treatment in the implementation of the SDGs. “Leaving no one behind” calls for NO SDGs without LDCs!
4. To effectively review and monitor the implementation of IPoA, the national focal points of LDCs should develop the outcome based indicators and integrate them to other national development indicators. It should also closely work in collaboration with National Planning Commission, National Department of Statistics and NHRIs for the improved data system and capacity enhancement.
5. I also thank the UN Secretary General for his timely and comprehensive annual progress report on Implementation of the Programme of Action for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020. The lessons learnt and achievements help strengthen the effective implementation of IPoA progressively. We appreciate the UNSG's report recognising the role of LDC Watch on behalf of LDC CSOs in the follow-up, monitoring and implementation of the IPoA.
6. Although an encouraging number of LDCs have announced their ambition in graduation, the increasing natural and climate disasters, economic and political crises taking place in LDCs compounded with lack of mutual accountability in national, regional and international practices have made the process of achieving IPoA goals and objectives very challenging. This also includes lack of fulfillment of commitment of ODA by developed partners which is central to financing in LDCs.
7. Though human and natural resources potential in LDCs are immense, they are not well harnessed for the progress and prosperity of the poor, marginalised and vulnerable populations of the society. LDCs therefore need to be supported in terms of resources, capacity development and technical assistance with Special and Differential Treatment which has been committed in the international trade and climate agreements including in Agenda 2030.
8. The role of Global Partnership and Means of Implementation is a prerequisite to achieving the IPoA and Agenda 2030. In this context, besides delivery of finance, technology transfer and capacity building; the crucial systemic issue of Policy Coherence must be upheld and practised with due commitment and mutual accountability.
9. We thank and appreciate the role of co-facilitators in the intergovernmental consultations towards producing the Zero Draft of the outcome document. The zero draft contains some concrete recommendations to accelerate the achievement of the eight priority areas of action. We notice that the important issue of Full Cancellation of Bilateral and Multilateral Debt of LDCs called by LDC governments as well as advocated by LDC civil society, is missing in the zero draft and must therefore be included. We reiterate that full and immediate Debt Cancellation of LDCs is a key contribution to Means of Implementation.
10. We would also appreciate the outcome document recognising the role and contribution of civil society in the follow-up, monitoring and implementation of the IPoA. In this regard, we urge for significant support to civil society for the necessary enabling environment by developed partners, LDC governments and the UN system.
11. We have been closely working with you right since the Brussels Programme of Action with a political commitment towards defending the interests of the LDCs and its peoples. We will continue to play our active role in the implementation of the IPoA to achieve the overarching goal of poverty eradication and sustainable development through reversing marginalisation in the LDCs.
12. As we had urged the UN and development partners at the Special Thematic Event “Building Synergy and Coherence in the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” held in 11 February 2016, we once again call upon all stakeholders to support the Global LDC CSO Forum scheduled to be held in Antalya, Turkey parallel to the UN High Level MTR. The voice of LDC civil society would be an essential substantive contribution of people's perspectives to the IPoA MTR process.
I thank all of you and wish you all the best for a grand success of the High Level Mid-Term Review of IPoA!