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Africa: Least Developed Countries Impacted By ‘Range of Interlinked Crises’ – Assembly President

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine war and rising costs are ‘severely and disproportionately affecting’ Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the President of the UN General Assembly told their annual ministerial meeting on Thursday.

“Even before the pandemic, many least developed countries were off-track in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and had limited capacity to tackle complex challenges such as climate change or food insecurity,” Csaba Kõrösi said.

“However, this year’s Ministerial Meeting assumes unique significance as it takes place amid a whole range of interlinked crises rippling through our world”.

‘No time to waste’

While noting that those external shocks have “upended people’s lives, reversed decades of development gains, and destabilized governments around the world,” he also pointed to “the good news” that we have the tools at hand to encourage transformation.

The @UN Secretary-General, @antonioguterres, joined today’s high-level luncheon.🇺🇳This is his message to World Leaders in the run-up to #LDC5.— UN-OHRLLS (@UNOHRLLS) September 22, 2022

The Doha Programme of Action – adopted in March during the first part of the “pivotal” Fifth UN Conference on LDCs – provides an important blueprint for them to overcome the impacts of the global crises, Mr. Kõrösi said.

“It charts a path for LDCs to build resilience and realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” he continued, but “to get there – we must work together to ensure the Doha Programme of Action is implemented”.

“There is no time to waste,” he added.

All must contribute

LDCs must do their part and in turn, development partners must follow through on their unequivocal commitment in the Doha Programme of Action, he continued.

As the most vulnerable countries struggle to tackle global problems not of their making, the senior official said that “now is the time for solidarity and support“.

“The 77th session will be key to shape the future we want”.

For his part, Mr. Kõrösi pledged that the LDC agenda would remain a priority of his Presidency.

Stepping up, spreading out

As a start, the Assembly President shared his intention to reconvene the Board of Advisers for LDCs, landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and small island developing States (SIDS) for substantive inputs on the needs and priorities of those countries in the context of General Assembly processes and events.