LDCs call for greater say in global financial structures
20 January 2010
Bangkok (UN ESCAP Information Services) -- Fifteen least developed countries (LDCs) meeting at a high-level United Nations forum today concluded their review of a decade’s worth of international assistance efforts with suggestions that such countries be given a greater voice in the international financial structures and extra consideration on climate change concerns.
The proposal came at the High-level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) for the Least Developed Countries held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The meeting was held to assess and develop a unified position for Asia and the Pacific ahead of a global review next year in Turkey on progress made in implementing the BPoA, which seeks “to make substantial progress toward halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015 and promote the sustainable development of the LDCs.”
In the Dhaka Outcome Document, ministers and senior officials agreed that the food-fuel and financial crises, along with climate change, exposed the acute vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific LDCs to external shocks which could derail their development gains.
They said LDCs need to be assisted with enabling them to benefit from the opportunities arising from trade, investment and financial flows. LDCs also must be represented on the Financial Stability Board established by the G20 and that the reform of the international financial architecture must ensure greater representation of LDCs in the international financial institutions.
Among other provisions in their statement, the officials noted that LDCs are at the frontline of the effects of climate change and should be given due priority in the provision of resources promised in the Copenhagen climate talks last December.
Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said the Dhaka meeting represented a turning point in addressing the development issues and challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region.
“It constitutes a regional position in support of the interests and aspirations of the Asia-Pacific LDCs to build an inclusive and sustainable development part in partnership with their development partners from the region and beyond,” she said.
The three-day meeting discussed issues and concerns related to reducing poverty and hunger by promoting sustainable and inclusive development in the LDCs; promoting food security through sustainable agriculture; and enhancing the share of LDCs in global trade, aid and financial flows and promoting their productive capacity. Talks will also look at protecting the environment and reducing the vulnerability of the LDCs to climate change, and developing human and institutional capacities to support inclusive and sustainable development of the LDCs.
The 14 LDCs in the Asia-Pacific region for the purposes of Brussels review include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Yemen, the lone LDC in the Middle East, also participated in the meeting.
For further information please visit http://www.unescap.org/LDCCU/index.asp
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