Put People before Profit in UN LDC-IV Conference

Representing 880 million people, more than forty heads of governments and high officials of 48 least developed countries (LDCs) gathered in a weeklong (9-13 May 2011) conference, UN LDC – IV at Istanbul, Turkey for adopting news measures and strategies for sustainable development of LDCs into the next decade through assessing the Brussels Plan of Action. Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina also with hundreds of delegates participated in this conference where she called upon the development partners to intensify their efforts in lifting the LDCs out of poverty. The development partners have a clear responsibility towards the LDCs development. Much could have been achieved if most of them had kept their commitments made most recently in the Brussels Plan of Action for LDCs, she argued.

The commitments produced in such high level meetings, hardly realized in the practice ground, which the prime minister pointed out in her speeches. According to Accra Agenda for Action, LDCs have ownership and right to use of country systems and the development partners are not allowed to attach any aid provisions as conditionality. But the Accra Agenda for Action is not implemented in real world!

Bangladesh also experienced that the giants like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are too concerned with influencing the decisions and strategies of LDCs, which should be changed for equal global development. In this regards, reform in global governance to free the LDCs from the dominion of international institutions and even from some of the emerging developed countries required, the head of state participated in this high level meeting should be addressed it in UN LDC-IV conference as prime agenda.  

There is need for human development, which is sustainable, attention to the priority issues of poverty reduction, MDG achievement and attention to environmental sustainability for the medium and longer run, the Bangladesh Prime Minister argued at the conference. But she forgot her own speeches which she made in the inauguration programme of Colombo Process held in Dhaka during 20-22 April 2011, `Since Bangladesh is likely to have huge human displacement due to climate change, we want establishment of an international regime under the UN to tackle the situation’.

Reminding the speeches of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we demanded to address the following issues in the UN LDC – IV conference:

  • Establishment of special protocol under UN system for safe migration of displaced people due to climate change: The COP-16 declared that measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation with regard to climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation, where appropriate at national, regional and international levels. So, the Prime Minister should address the issues in the UN LDC-IV conference.
  • Establishment a consensus among LDCs for migration of Low and Semi-Skilled Workers Worldwide as Natural Persons.

The Bangladeshi Ambassador Anowarul K. Chowdhury, former UN Under-Secretary-General expressed his own experience abbreviated as “4D” – deny, dilute, delay and divide, which is the current attitude strategic steps of the development partners showed by the rich countries. The last 30 years of UN LDC conference proved it. Assessing this experience, if the delegates of LDCs should made a time bound and specific action plan for next decade from Istanbul UN LDC conference, it could bring a positive change of LDCs. Putting people before profit, we can make a sustainable globe for living together in the planet, time has come to realize it.


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