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Print Print 2023-03-06

Poor nations’ leaders unleash anger, despair

  • Make pointed calls for developed powers to come good with billions of dollars of promised aid to help them escape poverty and battle climate change
Published March 6, 2023

DOHA: Leaders from the world’s poorest nations poured out their disappointment and bitterness at a UN summit on Sunday over the treatment of their countries by richer counterparts.

Many made pointed calls for the developed powers to come good with billions of dollars of promised aid to help them escape poverty and battle climate change.

Central African Republic’s president told the UN Least Developed Countries meeting in Doha that his resource-rich but impoverished nation was being “looted” by “Western powers”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres followed up an attack he made a day earlier on the “predatory” interest rates imposed by international banks on poor states.

UN chief slams rich countries’ treatment of poor states

He said there could be “no more excuses” for not providing aid.

But the opening day of general debate at the once-in-a-decade summit saw no major announcement of desperately needed cash — apart from $60 million that host Qatar said it would give to United Nations programmes.

Leaders of the world’s major economies have been markedly absent from debate, which will last five days, on the turmoil in poor nations.

At a meeting with LDC leaders on Saturday Guterres called for $500 billion to be mobilised for social and economic transformation.

Leaders also used the first day of public debate to renew demands that industrialised governments hand over a promised $100 billion a year to support their efforts to counter global warming.

Presidents and prime ministers from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region made calls for financial action.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whose country of 170 million is scheduled to graduate out of LDC status, said poorer nations “deserve” certainty over financing for development and climate.

“The international community must renew its commitment for real structural transformation in LDCs,” Hasina said.

“Our nations do not ask for charity. What we seek are our due international commitments.”

Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema said providing the finance was “a matter of credibility”. “LDCs cannot afford another lost decade,” declared Narayan Kaji Shrestha, deputy prime minister of Nepal, which is also to leave the LDC club for the Middle Income Countries division by 2026. Shrestha said that in the five decades since LDC status was established to give countries trade privileges and cheaper finance, they had been “fighting an epic battle against poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy.”

He highlighted that only six countries had so far escaped the LDC status that some nations consider a stigma. Central African Republic’s President Faustin-Archange Touadera used his speech to lash out at sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and other institutions against the huge but sparsely populated nation that has seen decades of instability.

Touadera said the country’s 5.5 million people could not understand how, with vast reserves of gold, diamonds, cobalt, oil and uranium, it “remains, more than 60 years after independence, one of the poorest in the world”.

“Central African Republic has always been wrongly considered by certain Western powers as a reserve for strategic materials,” he added. “It has suffered a systematic looting since its independence, helped by political instability supported by certain Western powers or their allies.”

Comments

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Tulukan Mairandi Mar 06, 2023 08:08am
Why doesn't Pakistan call out China, the biggest loan shark, with interest rates as high as 9% (that's what Pakistan is paying for some of the loans). How about Saudi Arabia, an Islamic ummah country that has fixed deposit in Pakistan which is earning them interest (riba) of 8%.
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Tulukan Mairandi Mar 06, 2023 08:10am
Central African Republic, like Pakistan, is blaming western countries for being poor despite vast natural resources. Their own corruption, which is why the Chinese are mining all the gold & minerals and paying only concession rates in Africa, as it is doing in Balochistan, is always seen past.
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Dr.Salaria, Aamir Ahmed Mar 06, 2023 08:47am
Iron brother China, with whom relations are deeper than ocean and sweeter than honey must: 1. Forgive all loans and give $20 bn more without tieing to IMF 2. Compensate us for losses caused by Chinavirus (Covid 19) 3. Pay Liquidated Damages for CPEC delays 4. Pay losses for ecological and social damages caused by CPEC and chinese pollution that caused floods 5. Pay compensation for low quality chinavirus (Covid 19) vaccine, tanks, trains, drones and ships 6. Give us more interest-free Islamic loans, in return for our support on Xinjiang genocide.
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umair Mar 07, 2023 10:03am
@Dr.Salaria, Aamir Ahmed, will Islamic Republic of Pakistan compensate the entire world for the terrorism that we export?
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Hilarious Mar 07, 2023 10:52am
@umair, ouch, that went deeper than an electron microscope, but is the truth. I like how the most corrupt and mismanaged nations are blaming climate change for their, well mismanagement and corruption.
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Hilarious Mar 07, 2023 03:40pm
@Tulukan Mairandi, mainly because they’re not giving out charity, nor are they charitable institutions. Rather than calling them out for their loans in times of distress, call this country out for being in a severe downwards spiral, why do the citizens of this country feel like the world owes them something? No one owes anyone anything, the mess this country is its own making. The citizens are equally responsible for this mess called Pakistan.
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