HomeGreeceIntervention by Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, Konstantinos Fragkogiannis, at...

Intervention by Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, Konstantinos Fragkogiannis, at the Plenary Session of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least developed Countries (LDC5) (Doha, 05-09.03.2023)

(iii) External support should specifically target domestic revenue, supporting medium-term revenue strategies, and strengthen international tax co-operation.E. Focusing effort on addressing the multidimensional vulnerabilities of LDCs, as well as a long-term approach to investments and support measures aimed at strengthening their resilience and supporting structural transformation of their economies in a sustainable manner. With its new Global Europe instrument and policy-driven approach, the EU has the possibility and responsibility to address these in a coherent and strategic manner, including building on Team Europe.
A. Placing stronger focus on human development in LDCs, notably in basic services such as health and education. In general, human capital is seen as a factor that contributes to increased resilience of a country against the vulnerability to external shocks. Human development is one of the EU priorities in most of the Multi-annual Indicative Programs (MIPs) for LDCs for the period 2021-2027.
(v) Change of the role of the Multilateral Development Banks. It is imperative to mobilise development finance at scale more effectively, through blended finance and greater coordination among international development actors, for key geographic, sectoral or thematic issues, such as boosting climate adaptation, addressing food security and sustainable food systems, pharma and health products, key transport corridors, access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), trade finance. The UN Secretary-General called for multilateral development banks (MDBs) to change their business model, accept a new approach to risk, and massively leverage their funds to attract greater flows of private capital to invest in developing countries’ capacity to achieve the SDGs.
D. LDCs are primarily agricultural economies and are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Support for climate adaptation and strengthening the resilience of agricultural systems are of direct concern to them. The EU aims to align its development cooperation instruments with LDCs priorities and particularly, accelerate climate adaptation to strengthen agricultural systems in LDCs. The EU and its member states (m-s) are the biggest contributors of public climate finance to developing countries.
I would like to present some priority areas that could be given more attention:
What is needed is a stronger focus on addressing the multidimensional vulnerabilities of poorer countries, a long-term approach to investments and support measures aiming at strengthening their resilience against future shocks, while supporting the structural transformation of their economies.
(ii) SDG Bonds can provide a source of capital for a variety of stakeholders involved in the implementation of Agenda 2030, including companies, governments, cities and public-private partnerships.
I wish to start by expressing our appreciation to the Government of the State of Qatar for hosting the Second Part of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5).
(i) Mobilization of private finance and investments in sustainable development, supported by policy measures to strengthen the investment climate and set appropriate regulatory frameworks. In this context, through the Global Gateway strategy, the EU and its m-s aim to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.
B. Adopting a more tailored approach to blended finance and investment promotion in LDCs, which implies a context-specific approach that better takes into account the specific needs and vulnerabilities of LDCs. This means adopting clear, transparent and simple processes and putting a greater emphasis on capacity building to develop pipelines of bankable projects with sufficient technical assistance, as well as supporting regulatory and policy frameworks in an integrated manner.
(vi) The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are potentially a means of generating additional resources. The contribution to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund (PRGT) General Subsidy Account would be in the spirit of coordination among donors to voluntarily lend part of their SDRs to the PRGT loan account and provide grant to the subsidy account. This is part of the G20 leaders’ effort for the target of re-channeling up to USD 100 billion worth of SDRs to vulnerable countries.
The adoption of the new Doha Programme of Action for LDCs 2022-2031, highlights the need for renewed and strengthened commitments by LDCs and their development partners to achieve a sustainable recovery and development. It must be built upon the lessons learned during the last decade to present an ambitious and coherent set of commitments to unlock the potential of this group of countries and their people.
Finally, I would like to stress the importance of peace and security, a prerequisite for sustainable development. Multilateralism has been and should remain the most effective means to govern global relations. Respect and adherence to International Law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are essential to the maintenance of international peace and security. We need to invest in conflict prevention and peacebuilding and put women and girls at the centre of security policy. It is important to promote the “New Agenda for Peace”. In this context, Greece has presented its candidacy as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2025-2026.
The Fifth United Nations Conference on least developed countries (LDCs) is taking place in the midst of geopolitical tensions, the ongoing challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, and acute food insecurity. The climate crisis is also creating additional setbacks for LDCs, many of which are highly vulnerable in environmental terms.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
C. Supporting trade beyond tariff preferences and working more on the necessary accompanying measures to support the productive capacities of LDCs, as well as their effective access to the EU, global markets and value chains. We should aim to provide tailored support measures to help LDCs meet the higher standards of the EU on due diligence and the environment, as well as more traditional trade-related measures, such as sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements. Supporting LDCs integration into international and regional trade can also be an effective way to ensure that poorer countries reap the benefits of trade. The Team Europe initiative set up to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACfTA) is a concrete example of the supportive role the EU can play.
I would also like to seize this opportunity to offer my condolences to Turkey and Syria for the victims of the recent catastrophic and devastating earthquakes.
F. Financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG financing gap in developing countries increased by 56% in 2020, totaling nearly 4 trillion USD. Required actions to mobilize finance for sustainable development, include, but are not limited to, the following:
(iv) Official Development Assistance (ΟDA) is a very important source of capital. The EU and its m-s remain the world’s biggest provider of ODA, having increased in 2021 its collective ODA to €68.7 billion and accounting for 45% of global ODA. The EU and its m-s have displayed leadership and set the global standard, through the new instrument, the Neighborhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument or “NDICI-Global Europe” (with an overall allocation of €79.5 billion for the period 2021-2027, which covers EU cooperation with all third countries), with the flagship projects such as the Team Europe Initiatives, as well as the Global Gateway strategy.
Thank you for your attention.


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