Deputy Secretary-General Calls for ‘New Approach’ to Protect Most Vulnerable at Closing Press Conference for Least Developed Countries Conference in Doha

(Delayed in transmission.)

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the closing press conference for the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, in Doha on 9 March:

The fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries has shown what can happen when the United Nations system and Member States come together around one common ambition — to ensure the most vulnerable communities thrive.

Delivering these conference outcomes is core to the mandate of the United Nations, and to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.  Because if the [Goals] do not deliver in least developed countries, they do not deliver.  It’s as simple as that.

And at the halfway mark, after the turbulent years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, these countries are falling farther behind.  Sustainable Development Goal performance is below the global average, risks are growing rather than diminishing and 11 least developed countries spend over one fifth of their revenue servicing debt.

We need a new approach.  The Doha Programme of Action responds to these unprecedented and interlinked challenges with a blueprint for recovery, renewal and resilience.  It is an accelerator for the 2030 Agenda in least developed countries.

And it will answer many of the key challenges facing these countries, from food security to training, setting the path for a more prosperous, just and equitable future.

It is clear, however, that least developed countries will need much greater access to investment in order to survive and thrive through these difficult times.  That is why the United Nations is working hard for solutions to the crisis in financing for development.

The Secretary-General has proposed an SDG Stimulus to enable countries in the Global South, including least developed countries, to recover from global shocks and invest in their people.

We are urging all countries to do everything in their power to support the stimulus, particularly in the [Group of 20].

At the same time, the United Nations is pushing for reforms to the international financial architecture, which was created by developed countries and largely serves their needs.  It must be made more equitable and resilient — and it must serve all countries, including least developed countries.

We leave Doha with renewed hope and determination to achieve a decade of delivery for the 1.1 billion people who live in least developed countries.

The SDG Summit in September, together with the Climate Action Summit and the upcoming United Nations Water Conference, must be opportunities to deliver on the outcomes of this conference.

I thank Qatar for hosting and for their lasting commitment to least developed countries, and in particular, for the leadership of Alya Ahmed Saif al-Thani, the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations.

I also wish to pay tribute to the many young people here from least developed countries.  They are stepping up to demonstrate in a determined, confident, ambitious and inspiring way for this intergenerational transition.

And I thank you, the media, for carrying the stories and messages of this important conference around the world.

For information media. Not an official record.