Immediate Support Required Inorder to Prevent Asia and the Pacific’s Least Developed Countries from Falling Backward  

A United Nations meeting this week will hear how the hard-won development gains of the twelve Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Asia and the Pacific are under threat and demand prompt international attention as various crises rage around the world. From the 30th to the 2nd of September, senior officials will meet in Geneva to explore how the international community can help them recover from the shock of pandemic-related drops in commodity prices, foreign direct investment, and tourism. 

The summit, which is virtually hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, brings together LDCs from Asia and the Pacific, development partner nations, the UN, and other international and regional agencies, as well as civil society, for four days of sessions and theme discussions. The conference will cover a wide range of topics, including overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the climate crisis, as well as the graduation of many Asia-Pacific countries from their Least Developed Country status. With ten of the region’s twelve LDCs on the verge of graduation, a smooth transition out of the category is a top priority for regional governments. 

Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, remarked, “Transformative development is on the horizon, but strong support to realize it is urgently needed.” The determination to recover and Build Back Better along a sustainable graduation path remains unshakable for LDCs on the path to graduation, such as Bangladesh. LDCs and their international partners must work together to combat the COVID-19 epidemic and the climate issue, as well as provide specific support to LDCs in order for them to move seamlessly from the Least Developed category. 

The meeting, co-organized by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will discuss how the world’s LDCs must face the challenge of achieving their development goals by 2030. However, the impact of these crises has been significant, considering the huge financial, economic, and societal disruptions caused by COVID-19 and climate change. 

The Geneva meeting is a preparatory session for the LDC5, the United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), which will be held in Doha, Qatar, from January 23 to 27, 2022. The UN Secretary-General will summon leaders of state and government at that summit to agree on an ambitious decade-long action plan to guarantee that the Least Developed Countries are assisted to recover and thrive in the face of severe uncertainty.