9-13 May 2011
The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolutions 63/227 and 64/213 decided to convene the Fourth UN Conference on the LDCs, which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May/June 2011 for the duration of five days. It also launched a process of national, regional and global reviews of the Brussels Programme implementation that will feed into the preparation of a new development framework for the LDCs expected to be adopted at the Conference.
OHRLLS, as the focal point of such preparatory process, is working closely with the host country and has launched a process to mobilize the entire United Nations System, relevant international and regional organizations as well as Member States, with a view to deliver on a comprehensive, action-oriented and meaningful outcome of the Conference, including concrete deliverables.
The preparations for the Conference provide an opportunity for in-depth reflection on the continued vulnerabilities faced by the LDCs. An assessment will be made of the progress made so far by the LDCs, the obstacles and constraints encountered and the actions and initiatives needed to overcome them. This important process is taking place against the background of a very different economic and political landscape from the one prevailing a decade ago. Emerging economies have increased their share in global trade, foreign direct investment flows and migration and the LDCs have established increasingly significant economic relations with them. Significant structural changes have taken place on the international stage, more recently with the emergence of the G-20 leaders’ summits which formally comprise many countries of the South.
The face of development cooperation is also changing. While aid from OECD/DAC countries is still predominant, especially to the LDCs, a growing number of developing country partners for trade and investment, and sources of finance, are emerging to help LDCs meet their development aspirations. This is especially needed in the wake of the multiple global crises, food, energy, financial and economic, as well as climate change, that have had a specific, negative impact on LDCs’ economic and social development and threaten to roll back much of the hard-fought advances made. The food crisis has hit the most vulnerable people the hardest, particularly those living in LDCs; LDCs have also particularly suffered from the impacts of the global financial crisis and the resulting global economic recession; and the drastic effects of climate change are already being experienced by many LDCs.
The national and regional reviews of the Brussels Programme have underscored the urgent need for an enhanced global partnership in support of the LDCs, with focused attention to the areas of: (a) strengthening productive capacities to build resilience and reduce LDCs’ vulnerability to external shocks; (b) promoting agricultural development to reduce hunger and ensure food security; (c) strengthening financial resource mobilization and targeting aid to productive sectors; (d) improving access to export markets; (e) developing infrastructure; (f) managing climate change and ensuring a new green deal for LDCs; (g) ensuring universal access to essential services and accelerating progress towards the MDGs.
With the increased challenges that the LDCs are confronting, it is more important than ever to ensure that the Fourth UN LDC Conference, and its preparations, involve a wide range of stakeholders, not least from the LDCs themselves.
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