Türkiye’s foreign minister has stressed the need to support the development and progress of vulnerable nations at the fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Qatar’s Doha.
“Our gathering today in Doha takes place at a time when the international system is passing through swift transformations. Least Developed Countries are the most vulnerable in face of such developments,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said in his remarks at the LDC5 conference on Sunday.
Noting that it is the international communities’ “collective responsibility to support the development and progress of vulnerable nations,” Cavusoglu stressed that Türkiye “as a long-standing and reliable partner of LDCs, is doing its best and remains committed.”
He cited the LDC4 Conference in İstanbul in 2011, “which drew a 10-year road map.”
Cavusoglu further cited Türkiye’s efforts for the vulnerable nations and said: “We held the comprehensive mid-term review of the Istanbul Programme in 2016, in my hometown, Antalya.”
“Türkiye (along with Belgium) is the co-Chair of the Group of Friends of the LDCs at the UN. The UN Technology Bank in Türkiye is the only UN agency dedicated to the LDCs exclusively.
“Finally, Türkiye is one of the top-ranking countries in development and humanitarian assistance and contributes to LDCs’ efforts in many fields, including capacity building,” he added.
Bringing down global food prices
Calling on everyone to not leave the LDCs behind, Cavusoglu noted: “We must act now, without further delay.”
On food security, he said: “It is a shame that we are nowhere near ending hunger in the 21st century.”
“The (July 2022) Istanbul Grain Initiative that we brokered with the UN, helped every household around the world, especially in LDCs, by bringing down global food prices,” he also said.
Citing his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on late Saturday, Cavusoglu said they have discussed the grain deal and emphasised that Türkiye is “working hard for its smooth implementation and further extension.”
“Second, we cannot tolerate two separate worlds, with a digital and technological gap between them. In the last Decade of Action to achieve sustainable and inclusive recovery, there is no time to lose,” he said.
Cavusoglu also urged to “break the vicious cycles that make development further difficult” and said the “global economic and financial system must be reformed.”
“We must find ways to combat climate change, which affects LDCs most, although they did nothing to cause it,” he added.
“The Doha Programme of Action succeeds in the commitments of the İstanbul Programme and offers prospects to build resilience,” he said, inviting all “to embrace the programme and scale up international efforts.”
The Turkish minister further noted that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “considers sustainable development of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) a top priority.”
He also cited the massive earthquakes that shook Türkiye’s southern regions on February 6 and said “the sincere international solidarity warms our hearts and gives us strength.”
“LDCs were among the first to offer support and solidarity during the darkest days. … Your solidarity after the earthquake showed once again that you are the most developed and generous in heart,” he said as he thanked for the solidarity and support.