Tonga hosts UN regional meeting to review programme of action for small islands in the Pacific

Officials from small island developing States in the Pacific region are meeting in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa to review progress in implementing the SAMOA Pathway*; the dedicated programme of action for small island developing States (SIDS).

 In declaring the meeting open this morning, the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, said “We are gathered here in Tonga at a critical juncture in terms of our common interests in the sustainable development of our islands.  As we approach the 5th year since the world came together in Samoa in 2014 and endorsed the SAMOA Pathway, it is critical that we recall the mandate of the Conference . . . especially in light of related international and regional processes that have come to be, after the fact.”

Inaugural meeting of International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries takes place in Mongolia

A new centre of excellence for high quality research and policy advice for landlocked developing countries has held it’s first meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The International Think Tank for landlocked developing countries, the first intergovernmental body of this group of countries, will strengthen the analytical capacities of the world’s 32 poorest landlocked nations in economic growth and poverty reduction.

The centre aims to amplify their collective voice and defend the interests of landlocked developing countries at the global level and in the UN. The two-day inaugural meeting from 11 – 12 June 2018, was attended by Government representatives, the UN system, representatives from international organisations and the private sector, who will share information and experiences from landlocked developing countries. These include the role of foreign direct investment, economic diversification, information and communications technology, connectivity trade and transport

Technology Bank for least developed countries inaugurated in Turkey

A new United Nations body, which will address the challenges of the world’s poorest countries through science, technology and innovation, was officially inaugurated in Gebze, Turkey on 4 June 2018.

The UN General Assembly tasked the Technology Bank to strengthen the knowledge capacity of the world’s 47 least developed countries, foster development of their national and regional innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology and generate homegrown research and innovation. The Technology Bank has been the long-standing priority for least developed countries.

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MoU signed by Global Good, TÜBİTAK and Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in Gebze, Turkey

Gebze, 4 June 2018 – At the inauguration of the Technology Bank in Gebze, Turkey, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), the Global Good Fund and the Technology Bank to promote access to technologies and increase sciences, technology and innovation capacity for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

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Official Handover of the Technology Bank’s premises to the United Nations

The premises of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in Gebze, Turkey, were officially handed over today to the United Nations, by the Turkish Government ahead of an official inauguration on 4 June 2018.

The Acting Managing Director for the Technology Bank, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, expressed her sincere appreciation to the Government of Turkey for their support and commitment in the process leading to the establishment of the Technology Bank and for hosting it.

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Business forum strengthens tourism partnerships for small islands

Mauritius, 22 May 2018 – Representatives from governments, private sector, academia, civil society and the United Nations met at a Business Forum held in Mauritius to share best practices and lessons learned in strengthening partnerships for sustainable tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The two-day Small Island Developing States Global Business Network Forum (SIDSGBN) which was held from 21-22 May, 2018 was co-organised by the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). The overarching theme of the forum was “Strengthening private sector partnerships for sustainable tourism development.”

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Ministers from landlocked developing countries call for improved trade, transport and economic opportunities

Ministers and senior government officials from landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and development partners, are gathering in Astana, Kazakhstan today to identify ways in which trade, economic transformation and the development of transport infrastructure can benefit LLDCs.

Hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, the two-day Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries on Trade and Transport, will also include senior representatives from the UN, international and regional organizations, financial institutions and the private sector.

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UN-OHRLLS launches Voices of a Brighter Future digital magazine

UN-OHRLLS has launched a new digital magazine featuring LDC journalists and their winning articles from the Voices of a Brighter Future journalism competition recently held by the Office.  The magazine’s launch is timed to coincide with the start of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum taking place in Lisbon (2-3 May, 2018) and where the winning journalists will be participating. 

To read the magazine, click here




Making progress on sustainable development, four least developed countries tapped to graduate from ranks of poorest

With increasing national earning power as well as access to better health care and education, four countries—Bhutan, Kiribati, São Tomé and Principe and Solomon Islands—will be recommended for graduation from the least developed country category, the United Nations Committee for Development Policy has announced. Read more…

 Don’t miss our social media graduation campaign and interviews with member states about what graduation means for their countries.

Read a full guide to graduation for least developed countries here

Voices of a Brighter Future Journalism Competition


UN-OHRLLS is delighted to have launched the Voices of a Brighter Future competition.

Journalists from Least Developed Countries were invited to submit stories on how sustainable energy is positively affecting communities in their countries. The competition is now closed. Three winners, will be selected by a high-level panel to win a trip to the SE4ALL Forum in Lisbon and have stories featured by the UN.

Read more, including the terms and conditions, here

January, 2018 – Looking back at a successful year for UN-OHRLLS

The year 2017 saw UN-OHRLLS achieve significant milestones in its efforts to advocate, coordinate and support implementation of the respective programmes of action for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. 

It was also an important transition as the first half of the year UN-OHRLLS bid farewell to Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya and welcomed Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu as the new Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Read more . . . [English] [French]

22 December, 2017 – The world’s poorest landlocked nations need a better deal on trade to reach sustainable development goals

Landlocked developing countries, the world’s poorest states without access to the sea, face significant challenges importing and exporting goods. This is not just due to their remote geographical locations and the vast numbers of miles and hours required to import and export, but also because of poor transport networks and lengthy and cumbersome customs and border controls.

New global networks of trade and transport should be opening up landlocked nations to world markets, yet it takes on average 49 days for landlocked developing countries to import and 41 days to export, almost twice the time taken by neighboring countries.

The cost to export one container from a landlocked developing country has been estimated at US$ 3,444 and US$ 4,344 to import. Comparatively, neighbouring countries face much lower average costs for containers of US$ 1,301 to export and US$ 1,559 to import. This has a significant impact on the types of produce that can be exported products.

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Trade and my Breakfast

NEW YORK, 12 December 2017 – In a famous quote, Martin Luther King once said “before you’ve finished your breakfast this morning, you’ll have relied on half the world .“

I know, early mornings are not the ideal time to ask yourself where your tea comes from or your coffee, where the ingredients of your muesli may be produced, where the banana you may eat grew and why sugar price may have gone up again. In all likeliness, you will also not ask yourself where the components of your smart phone come from.

Trade is as old as humanity. Trade has shaped societies, culture and the world economy for centuries. Trade has made and broken empires, fueled conflicts but also brought hope, peace and prosperity to communities.

Read more . . .