UN LDC Summit: Rich countries slammed for exploiting poor nations, failing promises

UN LDC Summit: Rich countries slammed for exploiting poor nations, failing promises

Leaders attending the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar, have voiced their disappointment and bitterness over the treatment of their poor nations by richer counterparts.

Many of the leaders from the world’s poorest nations attending the summit called on developed powers to come good with billions of dollars of promised aid to help them escape poverty and battle climate change. The 46 least developed countries (LDCs) — comprising about 14% of the global population — are some of the poorest and most vulnerable economies in the world.

They account for only 1.3% of global gross domestic product, receive just 1.4% of total foreign direct investment, and trade stands at under 1% of world merchandise exports.

During the once-in-a-decade summit, Guterres called for $500 billion to be mobilized for social and economic transformation. LDC leaders from Africa and the Asia-Pacific also used the debate to renew their demands that industrialized governments hand over a promised $100 billion a year to support their efforts to counter global warming.

Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema said providing the finance was “a matter of credibility.” Central African Republic’s (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadera told the meeting that his resource-rich but impoverished nation has “suffered a systematic looting since its independence, helped by political instability supported by certain Western powers or their allies.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there could be “no more excuses” for not providing aid, following up on his earlier speech railing against the “predatory” interest rates imposed by international banks on poor states. But leaders of the world’s major economies were markedly absent from the five-day meeting that focuses on the turmoil in poor nations. And there was no major announcement of desperately needed cash — apart from $60 million that host Qatar said it would give to United Nations programs.


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