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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

02 September 2021

ES-closing session

Excellency Mr. Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Finance, Bangladesh,

Excellency Mr. Eisenhower Mkaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malawi,

Mr. Courtenay Rattray, USG of OHRLLS,

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to thank all the participants, high-level speakers, expert presenters and moderators of the sessions.

ESCAP is pleased to have co-organized this meeting with the Government of Bangladesh, and OHRLLS.

After four days of listening to your valuable insights and policy directions, I am optimistic on the way forward for the next Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries.

I recognize the important voices and contributions of the Asia-Pacific LDCs at this High-level Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting.

A sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic requires regional partnership, and with global solidarity, LDCs can meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Key takeaways

Please allow me to highlight a few key takeaway messages from the Asia-Pacific review meeting.

The first one is let us focus on strengthening resilience.

To overcome vulnerabilities, our commitment must focus on supporting LDCs to address growing challenges of climate change and disaster.

Second, we must mainstream sustainability.

While kick-starting an economic recovery is an urgent task, the priority is to ensure that it is inclusive, including through providing equitable access to vaccines, to promote social, human development and good governance.

Preparations for graduation, therefore, must acquire a much more holistic focus on sustainability.

Third, let us build productive capacities and promoting structural economic transformation for LDCs.

Our policy actions must strengthen trade capacity and sciences, innovation and technology capacity, as well as raise investments in resilient infrastructure, especially ITC and transport infrastructure.

Fourth, we must leverage development financing.

There is a clear need for domestic resource mobilization, while emphasizing sustained support from our development partners for leveraging new and innovative financing instruments such as SDG bonds.

Way forward

It is heartening to note that our discussion over the last four days will feed into the preparations for LDC-V, including the negotiation of the draft of the next programme of action.

As recognized by member States, we are committed to working with LDCs and development partners to enhance regional integration and cooperation, including South-South Cooperation for the implementation of the new programme of action.

As an active member of the Inter-agency Task Force on LDC graduation, we have supporting graduating LDCs in the region and will continue to do so.

Allow me to recognize the commitment and leadership of our Chair in steering the Review to its successful conclusion.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest thanks and appreciation to every member States and participants in the Asia-Pacific regional review.

We wish all international participants, who attended in-person in Geneva, a safe journey back to your home country.

I look forward to seeing you all in Doha, Qatar in January 2022.

Thank you very much.

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