Buhari Seeks Duty-Free Market Access for Least Developed Countries
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called on developed and developing nations to grant duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating from the world’s 46 least-developed countries to ensure their integration into regional and global value chains.
He made the call in Doha, Qatar, in his statement at the United Nations (UN) Conference of Least Developed Countries in the Middle Eastern nation.
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), the President strongly criticized the current structure of the global financial system, placing an unsustainable external debt burden on the most vulnerable countries.
But warned that such debt burdens would make it extremely difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The statement quoted President Buhari ‘‘In 2015, the world came together to endorse the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. Undoubtedly, it was highly ambitious and would require leaders worldwide to be fully committed for 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 Doha Programme of Action framework, which is designed to help LDCs exit their current classification.”
The President challenged developed countries, civil society actors, the private sector, and the business community to partner with the LDCs to provide the necessary resources and capacity to deliver development outcomes in the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda.
He listed some measures to help LDCs recover from COVID-19, achieve SDGs, and develop and prosper over the long term.