Creating a fairer economic landscape for LDCs

July 27 2021: The draft Programme of Action begins with a call to “realize our collective ambitions of building back better from COVID-19”, (Para 3). However, as Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh has described it: “We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. … The LDCs are bearing their heaviest brunt. They have weak infrastructures, and a serious lack of capacity to cope with internal and external shocks”.

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Building back better: the challenges facing LDCs in the lead-up to LDCV

London, 26 July (LDC News) —  “We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. The severity of its impact is felt globally, the LDCs are bearing its heaviest brunt”. This is how Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, and Co-chair of LDCV Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) described the challenges facing LDCs.

The upcoming UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCV) next January is a crucial moment to take stock of progress and challenges for LDCs. So how does the balance sheet look? Not good. Sadly, most of the progress made since LDCIV in 2011 has been eradicated by Covid-19, with UNCTAD estimating it will take more than five years for the poorest LDCs like Benin, Sudan and Timor-Leste to recover. Continue reading

Africa’s ascent on the global stage — Can the continent become a cohesive foreign policy actor?

ORF — The African continent’s social, economic, and political resilience has been severely tested in 2020. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, African leaders have been vocal and vociferous about their long-standing grievances and the region’s status in global affairs. The deplorable treatment of Africans in Guangzhou, China, and more recently in the US that culminated in the Black Lives Matter movement has been an eye opener that threw light into deep-rooted issues of systemic racial injustice.  Continue reading

RCEP to benefit poorer countries in the region

London — The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, signed on November 15, will provide a boost for foreign investment into the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the region, officials said.

The RCEP deal includes all ten ASEAN countries, along with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.The agrement will benefit Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, among others. Continue reading