INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

BY MR. ANWARUL K. CHOWDHURY, UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL
AND HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

 AT THE LAUNCHING OF THE 2002 REPORT ON THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

 United Nations, 17 June 2002

            It is a particular pleasure for me to convey my greetings to all of you and thank you for your presence at the launch of the latest Report on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  I am especially pleased that I am joining Professor Jeffrey Sachs to launch the Report here in New York.  UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero will be launching the Report tomorrow in Geneva.  This year’s Report has a particular focus on poverty in the LDCs and a detailed analysis is included in the Report on this aspect.

            This is the first Report which is coming out after the establishment of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, by the United Nations General Assembly and following the adoption of the Brussels Programme of Action for the LDCs in
May 2001.

            The timing of the publication of the Report is very relevant.  The G-8 Summit is taking place in Kananaskis towards the end of this month and the Summit will be focusing on Africa and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative. 
As 34 out of 49 LDCs belong to Africa, this Report would be a valuable input into the
G-8 Summit deliberations.  The Report is also timely because the Economic and Social Council Substantive Session next month would be considering the structure and format of the annual review of the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action. 

            The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which, inter-alia, target on addressing the needs of the LDCs have put their concerns high on the agenda of the United Nations.  The success of the MDGs would depend in a very significant way on the success of the development efforts of the LDCs.  Progress with regard to the development indicators contained in the MDGs will make a headway if the LDCs do better in achieving those.

            The Brussels Programme of Action underlines the importance of partnership in support of the LDCs.  This partnership is all encompassing and I would request the representatives of the media to provide that support to LDCs through extensive coverage of the 2002 Report.

            I have now the pleasure of inviting Professor Sachs, who is well known to all of you, to present the contents of the Report.  I will be available for any questions after the initial presentations.