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LLDCs vulnerable and need support

18 Sep 2023

 Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) are vulnerable to logistical challenges stemming from their unique geographic location, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

Addressing a high level political forum of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, United States yesterday, Dr Masisi said LLDCs were vulnerable to external shocks owing to their locality.

Speaking in his capacity as chairperson of the LLDCs, a group of 32 developing states that lack territorial access to the sea, President Masisi pleaded with development partners to support initiatives meant to overcome constraints faced by the group.

He said the lingering impact of COVID-19, climate change and other challenges compounded existing geographical dynamics faced by LLDCs.

Therefore he called on the international community to rally behind the Vienna Programme of Action, which is a 10-year plan adopted by the UN in 2014 to promote LLDCs sustainable development.

While progress has been made in the goals of the Vienna Programme of Action to enhance transportation, connectivity and access to global markets, more needed to be done as the world enters the final half of the SDGs.

Dr Masisi cited the Kazungula Bridge and one stop border post constructed by Botswana and Zambia as an example of an infrastructure project that fast tracked the movement of goods and services between LLDCs.

The President further noted that the third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries scheduled for Rwanda in 2024 would afford the global community an opportunity to explore innovative solutions and develop meaningful partnerships for a more equitable world.

This will require the widest possible cooperation with development partners, international financiers and multilateral institutions, Dr Masisi said.

Also addressing the SDGs Summit, the UN secretary general, Mr Antonio Guterres, said at the halfway stage between the adoption of the SDGs in 2015 and anticipated actualisation in 2030, only 15 per cent of the targets had been realised.

Mr Guterres said the SDGs needed more funding and debt relief mechanisms were necessary to be afforded to least developed countries, including introducing reforms to global financial institutions, in particular the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Mr Guterres added that better access to nutritious diet for all, a just and equitable system to move from fossil fuels towards renewable energy as well as decent work, social protection and gender equality were necessary for the attainment of the SDGs.

He further said improved global digital access was also key in improving livelihoods across the world. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : NEW YORK

Event : Sustainable Development Goals Summit

Date : 18 Sep 2023