European Union External Action

EU General Remarks – Preparatory Committee for the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries

New York, 26/07/2021 - 21:27, UNIQUE ID: 210730_16
Statements on behalf of the EU

26 July 2021, New York – General Remarks on behalf of the European Union, delivered by Elisabeth Pape, Minister Counsellor, European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the Second Preparatory Committee for the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries

Excellences, distinguished participants, all protocols observed.  I have the honor to deliver these general remarks on behalf of the EU and its member states.

The EU as the largest provider of official development assistance, lead investor and trading partner for LDCs attaches great importance to the LDC5 conference and adopting an ambitious and realistic Doha Programme of Action (DPoA).

We thank the Co-facilitators Bangladesh and Canada for the organization of the preparatory process and Malawi as the chair of the LDC Group for the preparation and presentation of the zero draft Outcome Document. And we would also like to add our congratulations to Mr. Courtenay Rattray on his appointment and look forward to working with him.

The EU will engage constructively with full participation of its Member States in the negotiations with the aim to adopt a concise, action-oriented and operational document that will make a difference for LDCs in the difficult context of COVID-19 recovery and only eight years away from 2030.

It is owed to the importance of the document that it receives the best possible input from EU experts. In this context, we regret that the presentation of the texts was delayed and therefore comes in the middle of the holiday period. It is important that this does not translate into a loss of quality of the negotiations and the Outcome Document. We appeal to the co-chairs to allow sufficient time for the negotiations and for introducing proposals to the text.

Let us ensure that the important conference in January 2022 in Doha will be a significant step in helping LDCs reach the sustainable development goals and for us all together to meet the ambition 2030 Agenda. This requires balanced commitments on the side of the LDCs and their development partners.

It should be understood that the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) will build on the outcome of other UN Processes, notably the HLPF, the COP26 and WTO negotiations. The DPoA should rely on agreed language. Where processes are not yet completed their outcome must not be pre-empted.

The Outcome document and the negotiation process would, in our view, like in the view of some others, benefit from a shortening of the vast document, and an agreement on a limited set of objectives which are strictly linked to the SDGs and accompanied by quantified targets with baseline data.

Finally, we consider that the 1.5 h allotted to consultation with civil society, who will certainly also struggle like we do with the timing and the length of the text, does not seem sufficient. Only an inclusive process of the negotiations can lead to the sense of ownership required in societies for successful implementation.

Thank you very much and we look forward to a successful week of negotiations in this second Prep Com.

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