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ECOSOC Special Event on SIDS, LDCs, and LLDCs


23  April 2021


Financing a resilient recovery from cascading effects of COVID-19
in LDCs and LLDCs




Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Excellencies and colleagues,


I am pleased to be able to join this session of the ECOSOC special event on SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs.


2. I would like to share our perspectives on two specific points on financing sustainable and resilient recovery by LDCs and LLDCs. While this session is devoted to these to categories, my comments apply equally to the SIDS category.


3. First, on the issue of debt relief, as early as April 2020, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi took the initiative of proposing a G-20 Summit to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. At that meeting, convened by G-20 President Saudi Arabia, that Prime Minister Modi’s views on the need for the international community to focus on the global good served as a clarion call for better and more concerted efforts to ensure that all States, particularly the less developed and more vulnerable, are assisted. The G20’s debt relief suspension initiative (DSSI) flowed from this G-20 Summit in April 2020, and we welcome its recent extension to the end of 2021.


4. As we consider further measures needed to address the debt and liquidity problems of LDCs and LLDCs, we should ensure that these deliberations remain focused, and do not duplicate mechanisms and platforms already in place for addressing these issues, such as the G20, the IMF and the World Bank.


5. Second, there is indeed a requirement for sustainable financing of infrastructure and other SDG sectors in LDCs and LLDCs. However, this current crisis is an opportunity for us to reflect on practices and approaches that have proven to be less than optimal even unsustainable, and to learn from our experience.


6. What this means is that any such investment must follow principles of financial responsibility and viability, to avoid projects that would create a further unsustainable debt burden for vulnerable communities. They should adhere to universally recognized international norms of transparency and respect for sovereignty and national priorities, balanced ecological protection and preservation standards and transparent assessment of project costs. It is equally important for project sustainability that they be accompanied by skill and technology transfer, to help the local communities in the long-term running and maintenance of these assets.


Thank you.