President Muhammadu Buhari has urged developed and developing nations to grant duty-free and quota-free market access for products from the world’s 46 least-developed countries to ensure their integration into regional and global value chains. The President made the call while speaking at the UN Conference of Least Developed Countries in Doha, the capital of the State of Qatar.
The President criticised the current structure of the global financial system which places an unsustainable external debt burden on the most vulnerable countries. According to a statement released by the senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President cautioned that such debt burdens would make it extremely difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
The President reminded that in 2015, the world came together to endorse an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals which required the total commitment of leaders around the world for the SDGs to be achieved within the projected timeframe, but eight years on, the possibility of achieving the SDGs has remained bleak for many countries. On the issue of the rising debt burden, President Buhari underpinned the need for reforms of the international financial architecture that prioritizes the need of Least Developed Countries.
The President further expressed optimism that the Doha Programme of Action would lead to the acceleration of exports from LDCs by 2031, through the facilitation of access to foreign markets in line with the World Trade Organization Facilitation Agreement.