UN Gathering In Doha Concludes, Ushering In New Era Of Solidarity For World’s Least Developed Countries 


March 9, 2023


The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar ended today with member states committing to measures to deliver on the Doha Programme of Action, a ten-year plan to put the world’s 46 most vulnerable countries back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Bold commitments at the conference marked a transformative turning point for the world’s poorest countries, whose development has been hindered by crises including COVID-19, climate change and deepening inequalities.

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Least Developed Countries is a litmus test for achieving the 2030 Agenda writ large, including by ensuring that no one and no LDC is left behind” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. “That is why the Doha Programme of Action must be seen as a vehicle for SDG Acceleration.” Under the theme ‘From Potential to Prosperity’ the conference aimed to drive transformational change to positively affect the 1.2 billion people who live in the LDCs.
“The commitments made this week are a true embodiment of global solidarity and partnership and will pave the way for a new era of international cooperation,” said Rabab Fatima, Secretary General of the Conference and UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.  “This will result in more of the Least Developed Countries achieving the goal of graduation and a more prosperous and sustainable future,” she continued.

Discussions at LDC5 centered around delivery of the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031, which aims to manifest a new generation of renewed and strengthened commitments between the least developed countries and their partners, including the private sector, civil society, and governments. 

The Programme, agreed in 2022 after LDC5 was postponed due to the Omicron outbrea, outlines a transformative agenda to tap into the potential of the LDCs. Measures include the development of a food stockholding mechanism for LDCs; an online university focusing on STEM education, especially for women and girls; an international investment support centre; a sustainable graduation  support  facility; and comprehensive multi-hazard crisis mitigation and resilience-building measures for least developed countries. 

Agreements reached this week will help the LDCs to address the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, to return to a pathway to achieve the SDGs, address climate change, and make strides towards sustainable and irreversible graduation.

5,000 participants attended LDC5, including 47 Heads of State or Government and 130 Ministers and Vice-Ministers. They called for developed countries to urgently provide the most vulnerable countries with the assistance they need to drive socio-economic and environmental development. Corporate leaders together with civil society, youth and other partners shared plans, innovations, and recommendations in several areas: from enhancing the participation of LDCs in international trade and regional integration to addressing climate change, strengthening global partnerships, supporting graduation, and leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation.