“With your very successful hosting of the World Cup and this Conference, you continue to demonstrate the potentials of small states and what they can achieve when they do not lower their ambitions! There are serious lessons to be learnt from your example as we embark on the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action (DPOA),” he said at the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.
The global confab which is being held in Doha, Qatar, is expected to end on 9th March on the theme: ‘From Potential to Prosperity’.
“Chair, I would also want to express our sincere gratitude to The Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) for organising this forum and for being strong advocates for LDCs at the UN.”
“Their efforts in supporting LDCs in mobilizing resources, guiding and monitoring the implementation of our programmes of action, especially, the establishment of the LDC Technology Bank and the Investment Support Programme for LDCs, just to name a few, are sincerely appreciated.”
The Gambia Foreign Minister also used the opportunity to recognise the United Nations Country Team, whom who described “true partner of The Gambia through offering their unflinching support towards meeting our national development objectives and, for their good collaboration through the Resident Coordinators’ Office. Together with them, we will travel the journey of implementation of the DPOA at the national level.”
He also paid tribute to Turkey and Syria in the wake of a devastating earthquake, saying “our thoughts, solidarity and prayers are with the Governments and people of Turkey and Syria during these difficult and trying times.”
“Chair, as we embark on the implementation of the DPOA, allow me to recall that over the last decade the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA) served as a comprehensive and result-oriented poverty reduction strategy for LDCs. It has been a framework for partnership between LDCs and development partners.”
“During the implementation of the IPOA, The Gambia registered successes and improvements in areas such as energy access, infrastructure development, tourism development, science, technology and innovation.”
Furthermore, following its emergence from the shackles of poor governance in 2016, a number of policies have been put in place resulting in significant progresses in democratic governance, respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights and economic prosperity hence, putting the country on course to rebuilding and regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations,” he told the Conference.
“Chair, despite the above successes, The Gambia like other LDCs equally continues to face significant development challenges, such as, the impacts of COVID-19, effects of the war in Europe, low productive capacities, high debt burden, limited access to regional and international markets, limited structural transformation, low value addition, inability to attract Foreign Direct Investment, limited private sector development, high energy cost, challenges of achieving food self-sufficiency, climate change vulnerability and exposure to external shocks.”
“Therefore, with the identification of the above challenges, the main priority for The Gambia as we endeavour to implement the DPOA would be the adoption of policies and initiatives to confront and overcome the mentioned challenges to enable us actualise our growth and development potential.”