Statement by Gauri Pradhan, International Coordinator of LDC Watch at Consultative Meeting of LDCs and Friends of LDCs on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in LDCs

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

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 to achieve 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 the Istanbul Programme of Action held in Antalya, Turkey. While reviewing the implementation of IPoA in action, we expressed our happiness for achieving some of the indicators of MDGs by some LDCs whereas asserted our frustration for the slow, sustained, and uneven development taking place in most of the LDCs. In MTR, we had also clearly identified the unfavorable 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 national governments, regional institutions, and international donors and development partners to revitalize 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 the poor and the marginalized population and build them into rational and strong arguments that are acknowledged and addressed by 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 to adapt 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 organized 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 assessed the challenging situation of the fight to reduce poverty, climate vulnerability, food insecurity, trade deficiency, public health crisis 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 by building their capacity to fight against poverty, disease, and hunger. Efforts to reverse LDCs’ increasing marginalization 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 is not only 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 remains as it is. Therefore, We, as the representatives of LDC CSOs, would like to call on all concerned stakeholders including government, donor partners, and development agencies to work hand in hand and fulfill the commitments they have made for 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!