UNITED NATIONS, 14 June 2007: United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries And Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhry, has extolled Cape Verde’s graduation from the group of Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) while cautioning against any action that may threaten the small nation’s hard-earned accomplishment.
In a message delivered on his behalf by Patricia de Mowbray, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Cape Verde, to the Conference for Cape Verde’s graduation from the group of Least Developed Countries in Praira, Mr. Chowdhury urged Cape Verde, the United Nations and other development partners who had contributed to this success story not to be lulled into complacency, thinking that graduation marked the end of the country’s problems. On the contrary, he stated, the achievement should spur everyone concerned to even greater endeavours.
“We have won the battle; not the war of ensuring sustainable development for Cape Verde. Therefore, continuing support of the international community to Cape Verde’s development efforts should be forthcoming without fail”, the senior UN official added, noting that Cape Verde’s graduation from the category of the LDC’s was all the more remarkable because the country was only the second in history to attain that distinction – the first being Botswana way back in 1994.
Mr. Chowdhury said that for a country which suffered from various developmental challenges, graduating from the group of the Least Developed Countries was no mean achievement, and it attested to significant socio-economic progress.
He was fully cognizant of the many obstacles that the people of Cape Verde have had to surmount and the great efforts they had made to achieve that victory. To that end, he paid tribute to the people and leadership of Cape Verde for the serious efforts and resolute determination that secured that progress.
He added that he was proud that the United Nations system, other multilateral organizations, the donor community and development partners, including civil society and the private sector, made a contribution to this achievement. He especially paid tribute to UN Resident Coordinator, Patricia de Mowbray for playing a key role in the coordination of the smooth transition process for Cape Verde, and for steering the contribution of the UN System to the elaboration of the “Exit Strategy of Cape Verde from the list of the Least Developed Countries” and establishment of two very important mechanisms: the National Steering Committee, to monitor the transition process and the Transition Support Group, to mobilize international support.
He assured the government and people of Cape Verde to count on the United Nations’ full support to ensure that Cape Verde succeeded in sustaining its historic achievement.
There are 50 countries classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries because of rampant poverty and structural weakness that hamper development efforts.