LDC Watch, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and Equity and Justice Working Group (Equity BD), Bangladesh jointly organized the seminar on ‘LDCs and Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA)’ in Dhaka. In the introductory speech, Dr Arjun K Karki of LDC Watch said there were 24 least developed countries in 1971. ‘But now the number of LDCs has increased to 49 and the rich countries are responsible for their deterioration,’ he said. ‘We were not poor. We were systemically made poor. LDCs must apply ‘2P’ strategy i.e Pressure and Partnership to gain benefit from the international Programme of Actions and multilateral development processes. In the key note presentation Md Shamsuddoha, Secretary equitybd, specifically analyzed the major challenges facing the LDCs in the implementation of BPoA and asked the lending countries and agencies to take immediate measures, which include fulfilling their promises for ensuring economic development in low-income countries, by building up human resources and increasing institutional capacities, enhancing the role of trade in development, reducing vulnerability, protecting the environment and mobilizing financial resources’. Dr Hasan Mahmud, Special Assistant to the Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina, said the least developed countries, like Bangladesh, could not reach their goal, as they follow the advice of international donor agencies like the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). BNP leader Rizvi Ahmed said the elected representatives of the government must make efforts to prepare the development plans with their eyes on nation’s interests, both at local and international levels.
The Jatiya Party’s presidium member, GM Quader, said the political parties here lack the will to protect the nation’s interests while negotiating with the lending countries and agencies.
Among others, equitybd convener Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Economist Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, SAAPE members Rokeya Kabir and Mohiuddin Ahmed, Sharif Al Kafi of BDPC, journalist Asjadul Kibria also participated in the discussion.