|World leaders recommit to assist world’s poorest nations
United Nations: 19 September 2006: At the close of a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly this morning, world leaders adopted a declaration recommitting them to meeting the special needs of the world’s 50 poorest nations.
The two-day meeting, which drew several heads of state and other top government and UN officials, focused on midway progress toward implementing a 10-year action plan for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) adopted in Brussels 2001.
The main document to come out of the gathering, which began on 18 September in New York, the Declaration reaffirms Members’ faith in the Programme of Action for LDCs, citing it as the “fundamental framework for a strong partnership to accelerate sustained economic growth, sustainable development and poverty eradication in LDCs”.
The Brussels Programme of Action is the only international agenda addressing the specific challenges facing the world's vulnerable countries, its overarching objective is to slash the number of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015.
The Declaration noted that since the adoption of the Brussels Programme of Action some progress has been made towards reaching the seven commitments of the action plan however the overall socio-economic situation remains precarious.
The leaders raised concern that given the current trends, many countries were unlikely to achieve the goals and objectives of the Brussels Programme and urged for a concerted effort to arrest deepening poverty among the poorest nations.
In an address delivered at the conclusion of the meeting, President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly Sheikha Haya Rashed Khalifa told delegates that the declaration had sketched out clear directions for the further implementation of the Programme of Action over the remaining five years. “This meeting has provided the international community with insights on both progress made towards achieving the Programme’s goals and the constraints that have been encountered,” she said. “I call upon us all to rise to the challenge and redouble our collective efforts to deliver a dramatic and urgent change in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.”
The leaders reaffirmed that the primary responsibility for development in the Least Developed Countries rests with the LDCs themselves, but their efforts need to be buttressed with substantial support from the international community.
The Declaration welcomed and emphasized the importance of South-South cooperation and called for enhanced support to boost capacity development in LDCs.