Asia-Pacific LDCs Meeting Vows Sustainable Graduation by 2020

Dec 19th, 2014 | By | Category: Government Policies, News
Least developed countries (LDCs) of Asia-Pacific region have envisaged sustainable graduation of the LDCs of the region during the ministerial meeting that concluded here today by issuing a 24-point declaration, which is fully focused on meeting the graduation criteria by 2020 as per their commitment in Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA).

The fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs in 2011 had aimed to graduate LDCs to developing status by 2020 by enhancing their productive capacity to achieve economic growth rate of seven per cent per annum.

In a bid to smoothen the transition towards graduation, the ministerial meeting acknowledged the need for human and institutional capacity building to foster structural transformation for accelerated and inclusive growth, employment generation and poverty eradication.

As the LDCs are largely vulnerable to climate change and disaster risks, among others, the ministerial meeting has called for special measures to develop their resiliency strengths. The meeting has called for full operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund of $100 billion per annum by 2020 and that its appropriate allocation to LDCs be spent for the promotion and facilitation of clean development mechanism projects.

Subsequently, Asia-Pacific LDCs have sought integration to cope with the similar challenges they have been facing.

“Asia-Pacific LDCs have underlined the importance of economic cooperation and trade integration, investment promotion, infrastructure, connectivity, energy, water, climate change and disaster risk reduction and other relevant areas to build their strength against vulnerability,” as per the declaration.

The meeting has also called upon the development partners to provide official development assistance (ODA) of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their gross national income to the priority sectors of respective countries.

Regarding the trade capacity enhancement of the LDCs, the meeting urged transparent and flexible preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from LDCs to overcome supply side constraints and also sought extension of the transition time to comply multilateral agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Complex rules of origin criteria set by developed countries are hindering exports from LDCs though provisions of duty-free, quota-free market access for all products originating from all LDCs are in place.

As the emerging economies in the region are moving up on the global value chain, the ministerial meeting has envisioned of developing vibrant and competitive manufacturing and services activities in Asia Pacific LDCs to achieve fundamental structural transformation.

It has also targeted promotional measures and adequate incentive structures in the private sector to attract more foreign direct investment.

Likewise, the Kathmandu declaration has incorporated the safer migration issue as well as reducing transaction cost of remittance as a large number of youths from LDCs are dependent on overseas market for employment.

Asia-Pacific LDCs ministerial meeting also sought for debt relief, that is, full cancellation of multilateral and bilateral debts owed by all least developed countries to creditors to move forward.

The LDCs are going to meet in 2016 for the mid-term review of IPoA.

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