President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with developed and developing nations to provide duty-free and quota-free market access to products originating in the world’s 46 least-developed countries (LDCs) so as to ensure their inclusion in regional and global value chains.
The president while speaking at the UN Conference on LDcs on Monday 6th of March in Doha, the capital of Qatar, criticized the current structure of the global financial system which places an unsustainable external debt burden on vulnerable countries, adding that such debt burdens would make it extremely difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the president, ‘‘In 2015, the world came together to endorse the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. There was no doubt that it was highly ambitious and would require leaders around the world to be fully committed to the SDGs to be achieved within the projected timeframe.
‘‘Eight years on, the possibility of achieving the SDGs remains bleak for many countries, particularly, the Least Developed Countries.
”The difficulties in achieving the SDGs are numerous and were further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of Climate Change, and recently the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
‘‘The Least Developed Countries are often faced with developmental vulnerabilities and challenges that are not always of their making.
”These pose huge obstacles to their development efforts, hence the need for urgent and robust assistance to help unlock their potential and build socio-economic resilience. This assistance can be provided within the framework of the Doha Programme of Action which is designed to help LDCs exit their current classification.’’
Buhari further challenged the developed countries, civil society actors, the private sector, and the business community, to partner with the LDCs in order to provide the necessary resources and capacity to deliver development outcomes in the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda.
Before concluding, the President explained his presence at the conference despite the fact that Nigeria is not categorised as one of the Least Developed Countries.
‘‘Nigeria is here to show solidarity and support to the LDCs in the quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in this decade of action, where no one should be left behind,’’ he said.