In order to ensure the 46 least developed countries’ integration into regional and global value chains, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged developed and developing countries to offer duty-free and quota-free market access for their goods.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that according to a statement from the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, when he made the appeal in Doha, Qatar, at the UN Conference of Least Developed Countries, president Muhammadu Buhari emphasized that this was necessary to ensure their integration in regional and global value chains.
The president heavily criticized the way the world financial system is currently set up, saying that it burdens the most vulnerable nations with an unmanageable amount of external debt.
Mr. Buhari warned that LDCs will have a very difficult time achieving the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals due to such debt burdens.
He reminded that the SDGs were accepted by leaders in 2015 and noted that full commitment would surely be necessary for success.
Yet Mr. Buhari claimed that numerous nations, particularly the least developed ones, still had little hope of attaining the SDGs.
He stated, “The Least Developed Countries are often faced with developmental vulnerabilities and problems that are not always of their making. They include the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis. They significantly impede their efforts to develop, necessitating urgent and substantial assistance to help them realize their potential and increase socioeconomic resilience.
He claims that this support can be given within the context of the Doha Plan of Action, which was created to assist LDCs in leaving their existing classification.
The Nigerian president urged developed nations, members of civil society, the private sector, and the business community to work with LDCs to provide them with the tools and capacity they need to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development in the areas of the economy, society, and the environment.
He provided a list of strategies to aid LDCs in overcoming COVID-19, achieving SDGs, and long-term growth and prosperity.
Mr. Buhari emphasized the need for changes to the international financial system that give the needs of Least Developed Countries first priority when talking about the growing debt burden.
He agreed with the secretary general of the UN when he said that the global financial system has a “unfair debt architecture that not only charges poor countries much more to borrow on the market than advanced economies, but downgrades them when they even think of restructuring their debt or applying for debt relief.”
The president focused on ways to improve transit cooperation and access to international e-commerce platforms when it came to trade issues.
“It is crucial to achieving the SDGs and promoting security and economic prosperity to adopt a global coordination mechanism to systematically monitor illicit financial flows and engender support for a United Nations International Convention on Tax Matters to eliminate base erosion and profit shifting, tax evasion, capital gains tax, and other tax abuses,” he stressed.
Mr. Buhari expressed optimism that the Doha Plan of Action will boost exports from LDCs by 2031 by facilitating their access to global markets in accordance with the World Trade Organization Facilitation Agreement. This was in reference to Nigeria’s expectations for the conference.
Mr. Buhari asserts that despite making the least contribution to the causes of climate change, LDCs continue to experience disproportionately severe effects.
“In order to protect the future of the children, countries must prioritize reducing global emissions and exert great effort to keep warming to 1.5 degrees.”