President Muhammadu Buhari has 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 (LDCs) to ensure their integration.
The president made the call while speaking in Doha, Qatar, at the UN Conference of LDCs of which Nigeria is not listed.
He criticised the current structure of the global financial system which places an unsustainable external debt burden on the most vulnerable countries that include Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh and Benin.
President Buhari, in a statement issued Monday by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, warned that such debt burdens would make it extremely difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said, “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 potentials and build socio-economic resilience.
“This assistance can be provided within the framework of the Doha Programme of Action 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 in order to provide necessary resources and capacity to deliver development outcomes in the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda.
President Buhari, while expounding on the issue of rising debt burden, underscored the need for reforms of the international financial architecture that prioritised the need of LDCs.
Buhari also explained his presence at the conference despite the fact that Nigeria is not categorised as one of the LDCs.
“Nigeria is here to show solidarity and support to the LDCs in the quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in this decade of action, where no one should be left behind,” he said.