The EU would like to thanks the LDC Group for the presentation of their input to the First PrepCom of the 4th LDC Conference. The EU also welcomes this opportunity to provide a preliminary reaction to the inputs provided by LDCs and other UN member states.
1) The EU would like to address the proposals made regarding the structure and format of the Outcome Document to be adopted in Istanbul. As indicated in our statement last Monday, the EU believes that the Istanbul Outcome Document should be inspired by the MDG Outcome Document:
It should start with a short political chapeau conveying a strong message of commitment of the international community in favour of LDCs. The chapeau should establish a clear link to the MDGs as the reference framework for the new Programme of Action. It shall recall fundamental principles and values.
The chapeau should be followed by a short review of progress that would identify successes, shortcomings as well as challenges and opportunities, notably in relation to the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action. It should include a brief analysis of problems encountered, factors of success, lessons learned and best practices that can be replicated in several LDCs.
The new Programme of Action should be short, focused and selective, and it should target the specific needs and vulnerabilities of LDCs in the MDG framework. It should follow on from the review of progress, be ambitious yet realistic, and be operational. A simple follow-up process building on existing UN mechanisms should allow to review progress on a regular basis. Finally, potential synergies with international processes should be ensured, notably the G20.
2) Second, the EU would like to react to proposals made with respect to the contents of the Outcome Document:
Important principles have been recalled in the inputs of UN member states. In this respect, the EU would like to underline the primary responsibility of LDCs for their own development, in line with the principles of national ownership and leadership, in the framework of the global partnership for development.
The inputs also point in directions which the EU welcomes, notably regarding the improvement of the national institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks as well as Policy Coherence for Development; the need to foster entrepreneurships, mobilize domestic resources, implement the Paris principles and the Accra Action Agenda and further develop South-South cooperation; and a strong focus on key issues such as food security, the volatility of food prices, and the development of productive capacities. The articulation and grouping of these issues will have to be discussed.
Several inputs put considerable emphasis on ODA as a key factor for LDC graduation. The EU would like to recall that ODA constitutes an important addition to national resources, including for safeguarding and improving essential public services. International ODA commitments must therefore be respected. However, aid is only one of several financial flows towards LDCs, and it must therefore tackle the roots of poverty rather than its symptoms, and primarily act as a catalyst of LDCs’ capacity to generate inclusive and sustainable growth. Furthermore, there should be no straight jacket for the allocation of resources for development, whatever their origin: they should be allocated in accordance with the respective needs and priorities of each LDC. Serious consideration should also be given to proposals for further innovative financing mechanisms with significant revenue generation potential. Furthermore, the efficiency of financial resources should be seen in connection with the implementation of aid effectiveness principles.
The EU also considers that a number of key issues are not systematically covered by all inputs yet will need to figure prominently in the Outcome Document. These include: good governance, human rights as well as gender equality and empowerment of women; a conducive environment for the development of the private sector, inclusive growth and decent work for all; sustainability and the green economy; and empowerment of the poor. Last but not least, there must be a proper reflection in the Outcome Document of the changes in the world economy in the last decade, with the growing responsibility of emerging economies, both in terms of financial resources for development and market access.
3) Third, the EU would like to react to processes:
The EU expects the PrepCom Chair to propose, as early as possible, a draft Outcome Document which take due account of all inputs and discussions.
The preparation of this first draft should build on recent multilateral processes, in particular the negotiation of the MDG Outcome Document, but also possibly on discussions in the Second Committee of the General Assembly. It should focus on the consensus built in recent months and avoid reopening issues which are not specific to the LDCs and where no change of position can be expected. This would be conducive to an optimal use of the time we have, and would allow to truly focus on issues specific to the LDCs.