Group of Friends of the Least Developed Countries

Statement by Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim at the meeting of the Group of Friends of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 4 February 2020.

It is indeed timely that the next Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) will coincide with the Decade of Action for delivery of the SDGs.

Thank the Permanent Representative of Malawi for outlining the five priorities of the LDCs for the LDC-V. Norway fully supports you.

We recognize that the Least Developed Countries face extraordinary challenges.

This makes the positive developments made by the LDCs even more impressive. For example, on infrastructure and access to internet.

An increasing number of countries graduating from the LDC category is testament to these improvements.

As President of ECOSOC, Norway will - this spring- work together with the PGA and OHRLLS organize a half-day dedicated thematic event, which is intended to provide substantive input to the LDC 5 Conference.

I hope we can count on the engagement of our LDC colleagues – and ‘Friends of LDCs’ colleagues – to make this event as valuable as possible.

Also as President, we have been working to make sure that priorities of LDCs are at the forefront of the Financing for Development Forum, and of course at the HLPF.

Refer to previous speaker, the PR of Bangladesh, who referred to the importance of technology.

We have clearly heard LDCs when they call for access to, and transfer of, technology and knowledge as a key priority.

In response Norway was a founding member in the establishment of the UN Technology Bank, together with Turkey.

As Norway, we look forward to engaging actively in the LDC 5 Conference in Doha, including in the preparatory process.

The Istanbul Programme of Action has been an important instrument in support of the LDCs.

Norway will work actively to advocate that the new Programme of Action is even more ambitious.

We look forward to a close collaboration with you all. Let’s work towards real progress, and take bold policy decisions.

Norway will remain a consistent partner.

Thank you.