Statement by Turkey on Consultative Meeting of LDCs and Friends of LDCs

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 28.06.2018
Madam Under-Secretary General,
Distinguished Colleagues,

I am delighted to participate in this Consultative Meeting as Co-Chair of the Friends of LDCs.

Istanbul Programme of Action set the ambitious goal of enabling half of the LDCs to meet the graduation criteria by 2020.

As we approach this target, this is a timely opportunity to identify challenges and discuss ways of addressing them.

Increasing number of countries are meeting criteria for graduation, while vulnerabilities persist.

There are well-founded reasons behind requests for deferral by some countries, who were recommended for graduation by the Committee for Development Policy (CDP).

Recent natural disasters hit the LDCs the hardest. Climate change affects the LDCs disproportionately.

Challenges posed by climate change are closely linked with livelihoods of LDCs and their ability to maintain economic stability. Premature graduation in the face of external shocks could jeopardize hard-earned gains of LDCs.

We must ensure that transition processes are smooth and sustainable.

Therefore we welcome and encourage CDP’s review of graduation criteria envisaged for next year.

This process should be carried out in close consultation with LDCs and take into account their country-specific needs and concerns.

As friends of LDCs, our continued support to the graduating countries will also be crucial in ensuring their smooth transition.

Turkey is committed to continue supporting the LDCs’ objectives.

Inauguration of the Technology Bank for the LDCs hosted by Turkey in Gebze has been the most recent concrete demonstration of our determination.

The Bank was officially inaugurated on June 4th. Deputy Secretary General and the High Representative were also present on this occasion.

The Acting Managing Director of the Bank, Ms.Schroderus-Fox will display a video of the inauguration during her presentation.

Operationalization of the Bank was among the key elements of the Istanbul Programme of Action.

It also marks the fulfillment of the first SDG target (17.8) since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.

Science, technology and innovation are key to improving economic performance and social well-being of LDCs. Integration of LDCs into the global knowledge-based economy is crucial to truly leave no one behind.

The Bank will aim to strengthen the capacity of LDCs to develop, integrate and scale-up deployment of technologies and innovations, as well as capacity to manage intellectual property rights issues.

Generating homegrown R&D and innovation is key to systematically addressing LDCs’ technology gap in a sustainable manner.

In that vein, Technology Bank will promote development and implementation of national and regional STI strategies, strengthen partnerships among STI-related public entities, private sector and other stakeholders.

As a first step in that direction, a tripartite MoU among the Bank, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and The Global Good Fund was signed during the inauguration ceremony.

Mr. Craig Nakagawa, Director of Commercialization of Global Good will elaborate further on the details of this partnership.

This year the Bank will initiate baseline STI reviews and Technology Needs Assessments in Guinea, Haiti, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Uganda.

It will also focus on improving access for scientists and researchers to data, publications and STI initiatives in 12 other LDCs.

The Bank will play a key role in fostering productive capacity, structural transformation, poverty eradication and sustainable development of LDCs.

The Bank will require around 40 million USD per year to finance its activities.

In addition to providing a modern and fully equipped office space for the Bank, Turkey has pledged a total of 10 million USD for 5 years and assumed its running costs.

We thank Norway, Sudan, Bangladesh and Philippines for their pledges and contributions.

However, the current resources fall dramatically short of what is needed to ensure proper functioning of the Bank.

Technology Bank is a UN institution.

We have a collective and imminent responsibility to make it an effective tool.

We hope to see concrete steps in this regard.

We call on all partners to support the Bank’s activities, not only through financial means but also by forging partnerships.

I now hand over to Ms.Shroderus-Fox who will give you a comprehensive presentation on the Technology Bank and its future activities.