Least Developed Countries Hailed for Showing Ownership, Leadership as Preparatory Committee Concludes Meeting on Upcoming Conference
14 January 2011
The Secretary-General of the upcoming Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries today praised those nations for showing “their ownership and leadership” in submitting a comprehensive, ambitious and forward-looking draft programme of action to be adopted at the May event.
As the first Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Conference concluded its opening session, Cheick Sidi Diarra said the draft provided an excellent basis for further discussion, and urged all stakeholders to begin negotiations on the text soon while working constructively to bridge gaps and forge a consensus. Donor countries and other developed nations had also presented their aspirations and priorities for the Conference, scheduled for 9 to 13 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Diarra is the Special Adviser on Africa and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
Jarmo Viinanen ( Finland), Chair of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee, said he and other members of the Bureau would issue, by 8 February and prior to the second preparatory session, a single document to serve as the basis for negotiations on the Istanbul outcome document.
During the just-concluded session, he said, speakers had focused on such key issues as productive capacity; human and social development; gender equality and women’s empowerment; commodities and trade; the global financial, energy, food and climate change crises; financing for development; capacity-building; good governance; and graduation from the least-developed category to middle-income status. Convergence on many of those issues would contribute constructively to upcoming negotiations on the outcome document, he said.
Committee Vice-Chair Lilla Makkay ( Hungary), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said she expected the single document to take into account the comments of all Member States.
Gyan Chandra Acharya (Nepal), speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, lauded the constructive and flexible spirit in which least developed countries and their development partners had deliberated during the session, and expressed hope that they would maintain the momentum.
Ertuğrul Apakan ( Turkey), speaking as host country for the Conference, said the session’s discussions had illustrated the need for a new global architecture to improve the lives of almost 1 billion people in least developed countries by putting them on a sustained path of economic growth. Turkey called for a compact of global development and prosperity in the spirit of global partnership, he added.
The Meeting adopted the draft report of its session (A/CONF.219/IPC/L.1), submitted by Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou (Benin), Rapporteur of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee, who summarized the statements made by 48 Member States and 12 intergovernmental organizations during the session. He noted their emphasis on the fact that, despite some progress on economic growth and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, much remained to be done in implementation of the 2001 Brussels Programme of Action.
In a general statement, Abderrahim Ould Hadrami ( Mauritania) lamented the unsatisfactory progress made since 2001 on achieving the Brussels goals, noting that his country had suffered setbacks due largely to drought, the global economic crisis, falling commodity prices and Mauritania’s frail internal situation, among other factors. However, it had made progress in building productive capacity and infrastructure, and in strengthening the role of trade in development, he said, adding that the Government would address development shortcomings in its 2011-2015 development action plan.
He said the international community must pool efforts to make progress towards realizing the Brussels targets, and the Istanbul action programme should place a high priority on food security, agriculture and infrastructure, as well as human and social development. Reducing poverty required broad international support and genuine commitment on the part of least developed countries, he said, emphasizing the need to create follow-up mechanisms to ensure implementation of the Istanbul outcomes.
Source: Department of Public Information, UN, New York
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