MESSAGE FROM

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 

PRESENTED TO

THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE HEADS OF
SUB-REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION AND THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (ESCAP)

IN BALI, INDONESIA, 6-7 SEPTEMBER 2002

            It gives me great pleasure to convey my greetings to the distinguished Executive Heads gathered for the Seventh Consultative Meeting among Executive Heads of
Sub-regional Organizations and ESCAP in Bali, Indonesia on 6 and 7 September 2002.  This is the first time that I have this pleasant opportunity of sending my greetings to this annual gathering of yours, after my appointment as the High Representative in March this year.  This week, ESCAP Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su advised me of this annual consultations and I informed him of my keen interest in sending this communication to you.

            As you know, the Brussels Declaration and the Programme of Action (POA) for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 was adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Brussels in May last year. The POA underscores the importance of “effective and highly visible follow-up mechanism” for overseeing the implementation, coordination, review and monitoring of the Programme.  With this objective, the United Nations General Assembly by its resolution 56/227 of 24 December 2001 established the Office of the High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).

            The Brussels POA focuses on seven specific commitments made by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and their development partners: (i) fostering a people-centered policy framework (ii) good governance at the national and international levels
(iii) building human and institutional capacities (iv) building productive capacities to make globalization work for the LDCs (v) enhancing the role of trade and development (vi) reducing vulnerability and protecting the environment (vii) mobilizing financial resources.

            The prime function of my Office is to enhance the mobilization and galvanization of international support for – and ensuring the effective coordination, monitoring and review of – the implementation of the Brussels POA. In carrying out the mandate of the General Assembly and the Programme of Action, the Office has adopted a framework of action covering four main areas: (i) Focus on country-level implementation (ii) Work with all the relevant entities of the UN family, in particular the Funds and Programmes, Regional Commissions, Specialized Agencies, and the BWIs, to ensure that these entities mainstream the Brussels POA in their activities and in their intergovernmental processes (iii) Work with multilateral organizations, particularly the regional and sub-regional organizations like the ASEAN, Pacific Islands Forum and SAARC (iv) Work closely with civil society and private sector – both national and global –so that they are brought in as full development partners. 

            The Brussels POA which has been endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly has clearly indicated the important role of the regional and sub-regional organizations in its implementation. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the General Assembly resolution 56/227 of 24 December 2001 inviting the organizations of the United Nations system and other multilateral organizations to mainstream the implementation of the Brussels Declaration and the POA for the LDCs for the Decade 2001-2010 within their programmes of work as well as in their inter-governmental processes.  Mainstreaming the POA in your programme of activities and establishing focal points in your organizations will be the first significant steps in that direction.  In this context, I will be writing to you individually to establish direct and effective working relationship. 

I would also appreciate if your current deliberations provide you an opportunity to discuss the role of your organizations in the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action.

I wish you a very successful Meeting.

*****