Press Release

Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States showing a chart displaying LDCs by region to the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh (seated) in New York.

PRESIDENT OF DJIBOUTI CALLS FOR INCREASED REGIONAL HARMONY
TO COMBAT REGIONAL PROBLEMS IN AFRICA

UNITED NATIONS UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL AND HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MEETS PRESIDENT GUELLEH IN NEW YORK TO DISCUSS ISSUES FACING
THE LEAST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

New York, 23 September, 2004: The Millennium Development Goals guide the world's quest to eliminate poverty and hunger while improving health, education and the environment. Sadly, an evaluation of progress towards reaching these goals by the target date reveals erratic progress, President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, said today in New York during a meeting with Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Mr. Chowdhury reviewed the work of the Office of the High Representative and informed him that their core function was to monitor the Brussels Programme of Action. He said that he was satisfied to see this year's ECOSOC High Level session devoting such high profile attention to LDCs. The session's outcome should generate new momentum to fulfill the international community's commitment to the most vulnerable countries since the adoption of the BPoA in 2001.

President Guelleh said that LDCs will not be able to reduce poverty, achieve universal primary education, or reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS to the target set for 2015. He quoted a recent report by UNCTAD that describes LDCs as deficient in savings for investment in capital formation, public investment and essential services.

The President complimented the High Representative for the advocacy role played by UN-OHRLLS in creating global awareness for the most vulnerable segment of humanity. He said that aid programmes had become more selective, designed to reach a small group of countries. "Something must be done for millions of people suffering in least developing countries," he added.

Mr. Chowdhury informed the President that his office was making every effort in requesting donor countries to mention the needs of LDCs in their ODA policies, so that in the 2006 midterm review of the Brussels Programme of Action, LDCs would get a high profile.

For further information, please contact: Nosh Nalavala, Media Officer, UN-OHRLLS
(917) 367-2471, e-mail: nalavala@un.org