Doha - Media & Communication Dept. - March 09
HE Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater praised the strong and high-level participation in the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, adding that it represent a glimmer of hope for LDC who rely on specific commitments that need to be met in order for them to face their extraordinary challenges.
Speaking exclusively to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Her Excellency said that the conference will represent a milestone in supporting the aspirations of the least developed countries and in confronting their problems for the next decade, through the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA), which the UN Secretary-General said represents a lifeline for LDCs in the short term, implements the sustainable development goals in the medium term, and provides development and prosperity in the long-term.
She said that the DPoA (2022-2031) is based on a package of ambitious goals, most notably the eradication of extreme poverty, enabling more countries to emerge from being categorized as least developed countries, facilitating access to sustainable and innovative financing, addressing inequalities, and various forms of support provided Least Developed Countries to forge the broadest possible coalition of multi-stakeholder partnerships.
She pointed out that the least developed countries face interest rates eight times higher than those offered to developed countries, and that 25 percent of developing economies spend more than 20 percent to provide and bear the costs of debt.
Her Excellency stressed that Qatar's hosting - as the first Arab and Gulf country - of the conference in its fifth edition represents a new success for Qatari diplomacy and an affirmation of the international community's appreciation and unlimited confidence in the State of Qatar, which is demonstrating day after day its great and distinguished capabilities in organizing and hosting international conferences and events. And major global events, and not far from mind its exceptional success in organizing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
She added that the confidence of the international community in the State of Qatar has been strengthened by its firm support and permanent solidarity with the least developed countries, and its relentless keenness to make all efforts to support these countries to achieve their legitimate aspirations for development and progress. In the same context, she indicated that the State of Qatar always extends a helping hand and provides the urgent needs of countries, peoples and societies suffering from conflicts, humanitarian crises, poverty and debt. The value of humanitarian and development assistance provided by the State of Qatar in the past year through the Qatar Fund for Development exceeded $700 million, and it contributed to the implementation of a number of projects and programs for a number of United Nations organizations to support the least developed countries.
The last contribution of the State of Qatar was the announcement of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the opening of this conference, to provide a financial contribution of a total amount of $60 million to support the development process in the least developed countries. His Highness followed the declaration by inviting development partners to follow Qatar's and to take the initiative to support the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action as part of the humanitarian and development duty towards the people of the least developed countries.
Al Khater also stressed that the world was facing increasing challenges today from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis which compounded those challenges. She also said that geopolitical tensions and successive changes inevitably affect the plans to support the least developed countries, explaining that the State of Qatar is always seeking to work with its international partners to provide the necessary support, and to contribute effectively to facing these challenges and bridging gaps. The State of Qatar is also keen to implement the outputs of the Doha Programme of Action and turn them into tangible results.
At the end of her interview with QNA, Her Excellency reaffirmed that the development partners have a great responsibility to ensure that these countries receive the required level of support to achieve the desired goals, as international efforts have contributed during the past years to the exit of a number of countries from the category of least developed countries, The Doha Programme of Action sets other important goals, such as enabling an additional 15 least developed countries to achieve exit criteria from the least developed country category and doubling export and aid quotas for trade with these countries.