LDCs need a Secretariat and a voice in reshaping global economic governance

Geneva, May 10, 2010

"LDCs neither created nor resolved the financial crisis, but they are suffering its aftermath. They need their own secretariat, technical backup and a website to prepare better, and should get a seat on the high table of global economic governance" said Anthony Mothae Maruping, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho. He was speaking at the UNCTAD Public Symposium 2010, where CUTS International in conjunction with UNCTAD hosted a breakout session on the role of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in reshaping global economic governance.

"The G-20 may represent 85% of global GDP, but those outside, predominantly LDCs, need to be formally consulted in creation of the financial architecture" added Dirk Willem te Velde of the Overseas Development Institute. It was further pointed out that aid flows to LDCs have missed the target G-8 set for itself at its Gleneagles Conference in 2005. Aid is also skewed in favour of social sectors, leaving productive sectors starved.

The ensuing discussion saw some notes of despair. It was pointed out that even the OECD world succumbed to the dictatorship of the financial markets, leading to financial players making profits, not productive sectors. Developed countries have failed to address early harvest demands of LDCs in the trade negotiations, and their obligation to incentivise technology transfer to LDCs has remained on paper. It was clear that more needs to be done to bring LDCs on the radar screen of global policy community. Dinesh Bhattarai, Ambassador of Nepal, hoped that a prioritised, concerted and coordinated approach will be taken in time for the Fourth United Nations Conference for LDCs in Turkey in 2011, an event that would next be held in 2021.