Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

State of the Least Developed Countries 2014

STATEMENT BY H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations on occasion publication “State of the Least Developed Countries 2014”

Thanks to the Office of the High representative for organizing this event to mark the launch of the OHRLLS’ Flagship Report on the Least developed Countries (LDCs). The report provides an excellent analysis and calls for concrete actions. Our special appreciation goes out to Benin for hosting the Cotonou Conference on LDCs in July this year. It was a privilege to be associated with the Conference and work together with the Government of Benin and contributing to its success.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is both European and Caribbean. Three of our four countries are de facto Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Their vulnerability is a widespread and valid concern. It is of vital importance that SIDS are protected and their potentials developed. Let me highlight the areas of e.g. climate change, oceans and seas, food, sustainable energy, transport, coastal management and water. We are both learning from other SIDS and sharing our expertise.

Strengthening international development cooperation, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger are key priorities for my government. Our focus is naturally on the poorest. We share our expertise on food security and nutrition, on water, the position of women and other domains such as sustainable development. 

Productive capacity building, the focus of the Cotonou conference, is pivotal to sustainable economic development. A positive regulatory development in LDCs, moving from a controlling to an enabling environment, is crucial. Constructive efforts should be made, moreover, to move LDCs up the value chain and create more added value in their economies.

Productive capacity building in LDCs calls for means and action. Therefore, we strive to allocate 20% of our ODA to LDCs. Moreover, in our perception, sustainable development/inclusive growth and trade are inextricably linked. For us, they are two sides of the same coin. That is why our Minister for Development Cooperation is also our Minister for Foreign Trade – which has far-reaching practical implications, too. When our Minister travels to one of our partner countries, she often brings a large group of Dutch companies with her.
We look forward to agreeing on a transformative Post-2015 agenda, as a framework that helps LDCs to eradicate poverty and develop economically in an inclusive and sustainable manner.  

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aims to be a partner for the Least Developed Countries for Peace, justice and development.