Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) want their due for real structural transformation as per international commitments, not grants. He said, ‘I can assure you that LDCs will also keep their side of the bargain. Our countries do not want donations; What we want is what we owe under international commitments.’ The Prime Minister was addressing the plenary session of the opening ceremony of the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC 5: From Potential to Prosperity) at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) here today. He said, the Doha program is another assurance of hope for the world’s most vulnerable countries. The international community must reconsider its commitment to real structural transformation in LDCs. LDCs should have some incentives for their performance in transitioning to LDCs. They should enjoy international assistance to LDCs for an extended period. They need to know how to build better investment and productive capacity. Sheikh Hasina said, there may be some innovative and transitional financing arrangements for them. However, LDCs need sustained support to double their share of global trade. He said, ODA targets for LDCs of developed countries must be met The Prime Minister said that the international financial institutions have the means to sustain the debt in the less developed countries. Climate finance for LDCs should be made flexible and predictable. Technology transfer to LDCs needs to be real and meaningful. Our migrant workers need protection for their rights and well-being. We cannot fail the 226 million youth in LDCs,” he added. In the meeting, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh said that the epidemic and then the war in Ukraine have given a big shock to the LDC economy. The increase in food and energy prices in the international market has led to inflation in most of the least developed countries. Added to this, is the climate crisis and protracted conflicts in some least developed countries, he added. The Prime Minister said that we discussed most of the story of Bangladesh for the less developed countries and highlighted the steps we have taken for cooperation. “The tariff and quota-free access we have received from most developed and emerging economies has helped our private sector build a strong manufacturing base,” he said. The Prime Minister said that the patent waiver facility provided under the TRIPS agreement has enabled us to meet 98 percent of our drug needs locally. He also said, “concessions under other WTO agreements have enabled us to increase agricultural production as well as fight against hunger and malnutrition.” The Prime Minister said that the international technical assistance we have received has helped us to make concrete development plans. He said Bangladesh is facing the problem of 1.2 million Rohingya refugees forcibly displaced from Myanmar. Sheikh Hasina said, ‘I am very happy to be with you in this great gathering. I thank the government and people of Qatar for their generous hospitality.’ He also said that in 1974, Bangladesh became a member state of the United Nations under the leadership of his father and the father of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At the time, Bangladesh, recognized as a Least Developed Country (LDC), was making vigorous efforts to rebuild its war-torn economy. The prime minister also said that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and most of his family members were brutally murdered the following year. He said, to carry forward his (Bangabandhu’s) trend of development, we have pledged that Bangladesh will continue to champion the fulfillment of LDC conditions. Bangladesh is proud to have served as the LDC spokesperson for most of the last five decades. I attended previous LDC conferences in Brussels and Istanbul. They are satisfied with Bangladesh’s transition to LDC. He also said, ‘Now we are hoping to pass by 2026. Bangladesh is the only LDC among the world’s 50 largest economies by GDP. Our progress towards this transition has been achieved through our efforts towards equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.’ The Prime Minister of Bangladesh said that his government has reduced the country’s poverty rate from 31.5 percent to 20 percent in just one decade. He also said, “We are internationally recognized in terms of risk mitigation and climate adaptation.” Sheikh Hasina said, 75 percent of our total budget is spent on social protection measures. He also said that his government has provided about 7 lakh houses free of cost to ensure housing for all. The Prime Minister said, ‘We are at the top in South Asia in terms of reducing gender inequality. Our literacy rate is 75.2 percent. The average life expectancy of our people is now more than 73 years. He also said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, his government had given 28 stimulus packages worth 6.15 percent of Bangladesh’s GDP. Sheikh Hasina said that even in 2021-22, our economy has proved its resilience through 7.10 percent growth. Per capita income tripled in a decade to US$2,824. He said Bangladesh is now a reliable partner in the international supply chain.