Dechen Dolkar | Doha   

Bhutan has aligned the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) with the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) to ensure a sustainable and irreversible graduation from Least Developed Countries (LDC) group.

Bhutan is scheduled to graduate from the LDC category by the end of this year.

The DPoA for the LDCs for the decade 2022-2031 manifests a new generation of renewed and strengthened commitments between the least developed countries and their development partners, including private sectors, civil society and governments. 

DPoA includes six key areas: investing in people in LDCs, eradicating poverty and building capacity to leave no one behind; leveraging the power of science, technology and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerability and to achieve the SDGs; and supporting structural transformation as a driver of prosperity.

The DPoA also includes enhancing international trade of LDCs and regional integrations; addressing climate change environment degradation, recovering from Covid-19 pandemic and building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development; and mobilising international solidarity, reinvigorating global partners and innovative tools and instruments.  

Officials of LDC focal from Bhutan said almost all the six priorities are captured and integrated into the 13th Plan of Bhutan which aspires to achieve the vision of ‘Developed Bhutan’.

Officials said that the plan is geared towards bolstering achievement in three focused areas of Prosperity, People, and Progress (3Ps).

The 10 tentative national performance indicators and the performance indicators under the economic, social, security and governance clusters reflect the actions outlined in the DPoA.

Officials of LDCs focal from Bhutan said that as an LDC set on the path to graduation, the DPoA will form part and parcel of the strategic interventions that will be undertaken by Bhutan to ensure a sustainable and irreversible graduation.

“The implementation roadmap that will be launched as an outcome of the LDC5 will be essential for further strengthening Bhutan’s smooth graduation efforts,” officials said.

LDC focal officials also said that Bhutan has already made concerted efforts to make increased progress in all these areas. “Hopefully, we will be able to realize the desired goals pursued in the DPoA and be able to sustain the success.”

He said that all six priorities are relevant to Bhutan. The priorities are well in sync with the national needs and the sectoral focus areas which Bhutan is currently emphasizing. “The DPoA is timely in nature and bears immense relevance to Bhutan.”

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that our landlocked status will continue to remain a challenge in accessing international markets and participation in global trade and investment opportunities. It is extremely satisfying therefore to note that one of the six key focus areas of action under the DPoA is on enhancing the international trade of LDCs.

“This is why in this new chapter that Bhutan seeks to rewrite, we will require the continued specific support of our development partners more than ever to ensure that our graduation is sustainable and irreversible,” Lyonchhen said.

During the fifth United Nations LDCs conference it was discussed that graduating and graduated countries at different stages of their development need country-specific support to address their distinct challenges and needs.

Support needs to be strengthened to ensure that graduation leads to sustained economic growth and prosperity. Further incentives should be developed such as an enhanced programme of support to address the specific vulnerabilities of the graduating countries, including through private sector development and investment promotion and building of resilience.

The conference concluded yesterday with the leaders’ commitment to deliver DPoA and strengthened partnerships between LDCs and developed nations.