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Kemayah Speaks On Debts Relief For LDCs

Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah has admonished international and development financing partners and financial institutions to ensure comprehensive debt relief as a necessary imperative for debt distressed Least Developed Countries (LDC).

He told participants at the recent 5th United Nations Conference on the LDC in Doha, Qatar that such move will engender the successful implementation of the Doha Program of Action.

Foreign Minister Kemayah said the pathway to prosperity and development must begin with concrete actions within the framework of international cooperation and strategic partnerships, including scaled-up official development assistance and commitments; as well as access to development finance to boost the attainment of the six key areas of focus of the Doha Programme of Action and its full implementation.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Dean of the Cabinet mentioned that in the wake of increasing global challenges, the need for support and partnerships to accelerate the development agenda of the Least Developed Countries seems ever more compelling.

The diplomat further said it is within this context that they have convened in Doha for the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which was held under the theme, “From Potential to Prosperity,” in anticipation of building momentum to concretize commitments, support, and forge cooperation for the implementation of the Programme of Action, including its six priority areas for the next decade-2022-2031.

 The Foreign Minister believed that the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) represents an instrument that can drive LDCs towards prosperity and development but indicated that more than 50 years since its inception, the development aspirations of LDCs continue to be stifled amidst multifaceted challenges.

“We are aware of challenges that hindered LDCs from meeting the ambitious 10-year policy agenda, set out in the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) to address the challenges faced by LDCs to overcome structural impediments required to eradicate poverty, achieve internationally agreed development goals, and ultimately, enable graduation from the LDC category,” Minister Kemayah further intoned.

He asserted that lessons from the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) remind them that the goal of structural transformation to induce economic growth and poverty eradication still remains a pressing challenge in LDCs, stating that efforts of LDCs to implement their national development plans remain hindered by lack of adequate finance, both internally and externally.

He informed the conference that as part of efforts Resolved to lift the Liberian people out of poverty and create a conducive environment for the pursuit of national development, the Government of Liberia under the dynamic leadership of President George Weah, upon assuming Office on January 22, 2018, launched a five-year Flagship National Development Plan, known as the “Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD),” which represents the fullest expression of our shared determination to achieve peace, stability, development, democracy, prosperity, as well as to alleviate poverty, combat climate change and  environmental degradation; and address the structural impediments etc.

According to him, the Government of Liberia has continued to commit resources in critical sectors such as health, education, agriculture and infrastructure for the transformation of Liberia and the Liberian people, which is also in line with the Doha Programme of Action, adding the need for the Government of Liberia and its development partners to coordinate resources in these critical areas cannot be overly emphasized.

 He further stressed that his Government has initiated policies to tackle climate change, contain the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and build resilience, particularly towards socio-economic recovery noting, “We have also initiated an Economic Recovery Plan, known as “Liberia Economic Recovery Plan” (LERP) to protect and promote economic recovery by minimizing revenue collapse arising from the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 Amb. Kemayah stated that Liberia has also established policy frameworks and interventions to address the impacts of climate change and protect the environment, including the National Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy, the completion of the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the formulation of the First and Second National Biodiversity and Strategy Action Plans.

“We will continue to forge partnerships with our international, multilateral, bilateral, national and local stakeholders to encourage new economic engagement; mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics; strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; continue the advancement of peace, stability, development, democracy, prosperity, alleviation of poverty, good governance, rule of law, and constitutional order; and more so, to respond to climate crisis; and address the structural impediments to economic growth and national development,” Minister Kemayah said. 

 Minister Kemayah also, on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia, expressed profound thanks and appreciation to Liberia’s international development partners as well as local partners for the continued support, which he said has impacted   the implementation of the goals and targets of the SDGs, the country’s National Development Plan (PAPD); and ultimately, leading to the implementation of the Doha Program of Action. 

The Foreign Minister assured the conference of Liberia’s fullest supports and called for the adoption of the Doha Political Declaration as a further demonstration of its endorsement of the Doha Program of Action and its implementation plan at the highest level; as well as its renewed global partnership for sustainable and resilient development of the LDCs.

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