Malawi’s Head of State Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has challenged least developed countries to graduate into middle income nations by the year 2063.
Speaking in Lilongwe on Monday during the opening of a 5-day fifth United Nations Virtual Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Africa Review Meeting, Dr. Chakwera who is also Chairperson of LDC said Covid-19 forced least developed countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to shrink by 1.2% in 2020, increasing number of poor households in the process.
The shrinking in GDP according to Dr. Chakwera left LDC member countries calling for global relief to bail them out of the situation.
The Chairperson called for a concerted effort from the LDC member countries to achieve structural transformations and productive capacity that will see them progress into middle income nations by 2063.
“We should be optimistic and identify people centered solutions to the current global economic crisis and build resilience for the ones to come. Collectively we need to lay the ground work for a sustainable resilient and gender responsive future to build back, greener, better, and stronger”, said Dr. Chakwera.
Dr. Chakwera further highlighted that the meeting will center on progressive document which intends to form basis of LDCs’ new action program which will be adopted at fifth UN Conference on LDCs in Doha in 2022
“This meeting will discuss an adapted progressive document which will form the basis of a new program action for LDCs to be adopted at the fifth UN Conference on LDCs to be held in Doha in the year 2022”, said Dr. Chakwera.
Among other focus areas according to Dr. Chakwera to be deliberated include systematic resilience and crisis preparedness, domestic resource mobilization, science technology and innovation, resilient food and nutrition systems, and partnership and cooperation.
Other people who spoke during the opening of the conference were the country’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima, State of Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abrahim, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary General and Higher Representative of LDCs, Minister of State of Turkey, and Minister of Corporation Development of Canada. The Conference will come to an end on 16th February 2021.