Fiji Calls for Urgent Attention on Problems of Least Developed Countries
At the United Nations today, Fiji called for greater international attention to the acute problems of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Speaking in Fiji's capacity as Chair of the 133-member Group of 77 and China, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Peter Thomson, told the UN's Second Committee, "bold actions and strengthened partnership for development are urgently required."
Ambassador Thomson said that agreed Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) committments must be met if the LDCs are to progress. Other committments that should be fulfilled in a timely manner are "implementation of duty-free and quota-free marketing access on a lasting basis for all of the LDCs".
Ambassador Thomson reported that there has been some modest progress in the two years since the Istanbul Programme of Action was put in place for LDCs. However he said LDCs continue to face pervasive poverty, serious structural impediments to growth, low levels of human development, and high exposure to shocks and disasters. He said that the deterioration of the global economic environment had been transmitted to LDCs in the form of declining Foreign Direct Investment and ODA flows.
Fiji's Permanent Representative noted that all LDCs are lagging behind in the critical areas of science, technology and innovation and that these play an important role in development. In this context he said the Group of 77 supported the establishment, during the current session of the UN General Assembly, of a proposed technology bank for LDCs.
There are forty-nine countries on the UN's LDC list. These countries include the Pacific Small Island Developing States of Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.