General Assembly General Assembly



Thank you Mr. President,

We associate ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Ecuador on behalf of Group of 77.

At the outset, let me thank the Secretary-General for his reports on the groups of countries in Special situations. 

We congratulate Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu on her appointment as Under-Secretary General High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. UN-OHRLLS does useful work to focus on the needs and  concerns of the countries in special situations.

Mr. President,

While globalisation offers growing opportunities for the expansion of the global economy, disparity in levels of development among nations continues to be stark and in some cases worsening. 

More than one fourth of the total membership of the United Nations continues to be recognised as LDCs, reflecting the huge scale of challenges faced and the work required to be done in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. 

Of the nearly fifty countries designated as LDCs, 16 are landlocked, and 10 are small island states. Most of the LDC countries are also former colonies from the two regions of Africa and Asia Pacific. Significantly, half of the LLDCs are also LDCs reflecting the importance of facilitating easy access to markets and supplies in a globalised economy, in addition to several other challenges. 

The total number of countries characterized as LDCs has nearly doubled since the UN formalised the concept over 45 years ago.  Only a few countries have achieved enough progress to graduate out of the list. 

The needs of the countries in special situations range from diversification of economies; education & skills to expand human resource base for the economy; better infrastructure and connectivity lowering the transport and trade costs, especially for landlocked or remote island states; availability of raw materials and access to markets; access to affordable energy and emerging technologies such as digital technology; resilience to natural disasters or external economic shocks or severe pandemics; manageable debt burden; friendlier business climate; better terms of international trade and investment; and often most important access to financing for long term development. Some of these countries also face longstanding armed conflict situations that require conflict resolution, building and sustaining peace.  

Mr. President, 

The needs of the countries in special situations are well understood and international efforts to assist them to overcome their vulnerabilities need to be stepped up.  

Last year's High-Level Mid Term Review Conference for the 2011 Istanbul Plan of Action for LDCs was useful in assessing opportunities and challenges faced by LDCs in the context of the adoption last year of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. It highlighted the importance of international cooperation going forward. 

Similarly, the 2014 Vienna Programme of Action adopted at the 10-year Review of the Almaty Conference of 2013 was similarly useful in better
understanding the continued challenges faced by LLDCs. The Vienna Programme of Action also needs to be adapted according to the 2030 Agenda, especially in the context of the needs for financing for development, science, technology and innovation. 

Mr. President, 

The establishment of the Technology Bank for LDCs by the General Assembly is an interesting initiative. We hope that it will facilitate building national capacities in the areas of intellectual property rights, scientific production and dissemination and innovation adapted to the context of each LDC.

Special efforts must also be made to strengthen capacities of countries in terms of preparing project feasibility proposal documentation that can meet investor requirements and facilitate early implementation of identified projects. 

The concerns relating to ease of access to concessional financing also need to be addressed.  

Mr. President,

The idea of creating a separate category of LDCs was discussed and took shape in the 2nd UNCTAD Session held in New Delhi in 1968. 

As a fellow developing country, India has longstanding development partnerships with LDCs focusing on capacity building, sharing of technological expertise and financial assistance. India's flagship programme ITEC on providing technical and economic assistance commenced in 1960s. 

Annually, India offers thousands of scholarships and training slots in a range of priority areas including agriculture, infrastructure, medicine, energy, banking and IT among others. 

India became the first emerging economy in 2008 to offer a Duty Free Trade Preference Scheme to provide market access to LDCs.  

The three India-Africa Forum Summits and the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation Summit have further crystallized India's special relationship, especially with countries in special situations. At the 2015 Third India Africa Forum Summit, India extended an additional concessional credit of US$ 10 billion to African countries over the next 5 years. 

India, along with Brazil and South Africa, has an active partnership with UNDP through the IBSA Fund to assist developing countries, mainly the LDCs. 

In June this year, an India-UN Development Partnership Fund was established to help countries work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. 

India remains committed to working with countries in special situations to overcome their challenges and achieve the 2030 Agenda. 


Thank You.