President Recalls Maldives’ Challenges, Emphasises Supporting Countries Graduating from LDCs

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stressed on Sunday the significance of supporting the countries graduating from the list of least-developed countries (LDCs) to middle-income status and cited the numerous challenges posed to the Maldives during its endeavour to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment. He was speaking at the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha, Qatar.

President Solih stated that the graduation process makes scant regard for Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS) underlying vulnerabilities despite improving their overall economic performance. The President added that the Maldives had to expend great effort to ensure that some benefits and special considerations were intact. He also described the vulnerabilities as a result of geographic size, scatteredness, susceptibility to climate change, lack of economic diversification, inadequate access to development finance, and geopolitical shocks.

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President Solih stated that LDCs and SIDS are also disproportionately affected by climate change, with limited access to adequate, sustainable, and predictable finance to take action to adapt to a changing climate, reduce emissions, and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts. He then called on the developed world to fulfil their obligations in delivering on the collective finance goal of $100 billion per year and fast-track the establishment of the Loss and Damage fund as agreed at the COP27 summit.

The President also called upon the LDCs to build resilience through good governance and achieve sustainable development with the equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all facets of life. The 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries is held from March 5-9, 2023. The summit is commonly held every ten years but has twice been postponed since 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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