Geneva: 5 July 2006: The UN Envoy for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Anwarul K. Chowdhury, has called for a sharper focus on job creation in the world’s 50 poorest nations, urging Governments to fully integrate employment policies in their efforts to combat chronic poverty.
Mr. Chowdhury told the High Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Wednesday that poverty arising from the lack of decent work was rampant in the LDCs, and that widespread joblessness in poor countries ought to be considered “with the greatest of urgency”.
UN Under Secretary- General Chowdhury highlighted that the official employment figures in LDCs grossly understated the extent of the unemployment challenge in these countries, especially given the large informal sectors.
Mr. Chowdhury went on to recommend that the problem of unemployment in the LDCs could be addressed through development activities which generate work in the areas of expanding infrastructure. Furthermore, there should be increased effort to put in place policies which support the development of small and medium enterprises, he said.
“In the LDCs, the majority of people live in rural areas and engage in agriculture; this sector must be given a boost. Further investment and capacity building is, indeed, a necessary prerequisite in order to ensure a favourable impact on employment opportunities, “said Mr. Chowdhury.
Turning his attention to the contribution of the international community to improve work opportunities in the LDCs, Mr. Chowdhury encouraged development partners to abide by a political commitment to provide duty-free/quota-free market access to products from LDCs.
“It is clear that failure to follow through with this commitment will have a drastic impact on the availability of jobs in LDCs,” Mr. Chowdhury noted.