Momen seeks incentive-based package for LDC graduation


DHAKA, June 18, 2021 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen has called for an incentives-based and long-term package for the countries graduating and graduated from LDCs for making their advancement sustainable.

Dr Momen, now on an official visit in the US, underscored the importance of the package as the graduating countries are at a high risk of sliding back— both due to the COVID-19 impacts and the loss of LDC (least developed country) specific support measures.

The foreign minister was speaking as a keynote speaker at a high-level virtual event on ‘Building Resilience for Sustainable and Irreversible Graduation of the LDCs’ in New York on Thursday, said a press release here today.

The event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Canada and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).

Identifying political vision as the key to a LDC’s development trajectory towards graduation, the Bangladesh foreign minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh’s graduation journey from the front.

Dr Momen said the recommendation by the UN Committee for Development Policy for graduation of Bangladesh was a momentous occasion for the entire nation as it coincided with the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.

He said Bangladesh’s graduation was built on the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to transform the country into a middle-income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041

The “Digital Bangladesh” revolution also paved the way for accelerating Bangladesh’s progress, Momen observed.

Highlighting the multidimensional challenges faced by the graduating and graduated countries, the foreign minister identified access to safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines as the top priority for the LDCs now.

He said that the most effective solution of this issue will be to utilize TRIPs’ waiver to transfer technology and know-how to LDCs having production capacities for vaccines.

He urged the development partners and vaccines manufacturers to extend support in this regard.

Momen said that most of the LDCs have limited fiscal buffer and absence of ex-ante insurance schemes against shocks, which make their graduation trajectory highly challenging.

Underlining the importance of adequate financing and resources as critical means for LDCs to keep pace with graduation expectation, he emphasized that LDCs need enhanced financing support to mitigate critical deficits in physical and institutional infrastructure and capacity building.

He also underscored the importance of promoting export diversification in LDCs with a firm commitment to DFQF market access, enhancing South-South and trilateral cooperation, incentivizing job creation, skills development, scaled up social protection of migrants, enhancing monitoring and support mechanism in the post-graduation phase.

Malwai foreign minister and Chair of the Global Coordination Bureau of the LDCs Eisenhower Mkaka also delivered a keynote speech at the event.

Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima made opening remarks while the Canadian Permanent Representative Ambassador Robert Rae made closing remarks in the event.

They are the co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee of the 5th UN conference on LDCs.

The foreign minister is scheduled to attend the Joint Thematic Event of the UNGA and ECOSOC on “Diversifying the Financing Toolbox to Enhance Investment in LDCs” on Friday.