Introductory meeting between ITTLLDC and CFC to explore Cooperation
Mr. Dulguun Damdin-Od, Executive Director of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries (ITTLLDC), and Amb. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the CFC, met online for an introductory meeting.
Ambassador Belal initiated the session by providing a comprehensive overview on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC, inter alia the ongoing initiative on the formulation of a fund titled Agricultural Commodity Transformation (ACT) Fund (formerly referred to as ‘CIIF’) and thereby enabling CFC to contribute more for alleviation of poverty. Once formed, the ACT Fund could also be an avenue for member countries to join this impact investment fund as anchor investors.
Mr. Damdin-Od provided insights into the initiatives of the ITTLLDC, an organization established in 2009 (UN resolution A/RES/64/214), aimed at enhancing the capacity of landlocked developing countries to engage in international trade, including WTO negotiations, with the overarching goal of promoting human development and alleviating poverty.
The exchange between Mr. Damdin-Od and Ambassador Belal also laid the groundwork for future collaboration. Mr. Damdin-Od presented proposals for deepening the partnership between the CFC and ITTLLDC, thereby bolstering their joint efforts towards sustainable development.
Expressing contentment with the progress at the CFC, Mr. Damdin-Od suggested further the possibility of formalizing the working relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ITTLLDC. CFC acknowledged the proposal and pledged to explore this opportunity for further consideration.
Ambassador Belal while welcoming the idea of formalizing the workings of the two organisations, sought ITTLLDC’s leadership in mapping the climate footprint of important commodities and thereby making commodity value chains more climate friendly.
Both the CEOs discussed their preparations for the forthcoming Third United Nations Summit on LLDCs from 18-21 June 2024 in Rwanda. Both CFC and ITTLLDC expressed their resolve to make it count for the millions of smallholders in the LLDCs and beyond.
Ambassador Belal shared CFC’s ongoing work on a multistakeholder approach to do innovative value chain development for local processing in a climate friendly way for the sixteen countries- Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Afghanistan, Nepal and Lao Democratic Republic- which are both LLDCs and LDCs. CFC urged ITTLDC to join this shared journey to reach the furthest sixteen countries. Ambassador Belal aptly termed as “absolute sixteens” as, in this word, there won’t be any celebrations of SDGs unless we could make SDGs work in these sixteen countries.
The meeting concluded with both parties expressing mutual assurances of support and a commitment to follow up on necessary actions in the days ahead.