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Global community urged to reaffirm commitment to enhance support to world’s poorest ahead of major UN meeting for Least Developed Countries

The international community was urged to stand by its commitments to support the sustainable development of the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries at a press conference in New York today.

The call comes as high-level officials from around the world, Least Developed Countries and their development partners prepare for a major meeting in Antalya, Turkey later this month, which will assess the progress made by Least Developed Countries and their path to sustainable development as set out in The Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries. Hosted by The Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and The Government of Turkey, the meeting in Antlaya will bring together stakeholders from governments, parliaments, international and regional organizations, civil society, private sector, foundations, think tanks and the media.

The Antalya meeting will also highlight the lessons learned and best practices from the LDCs and contribute to bring synergy between the Sustainable Development Goals and other global agendas such as the Istanbul Programme of Action.

“Many positive steps have been made by the world’s most vulnerable countries, demonstrating what they can do with the right support, but much more needs to be done given the persistent challenges and structural bottlenecks” said Gyan Chandra Acharya, High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States at the press conference.

“The Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action provides an important opportunity for the global community to reaffirm its commitment to the world’s most vulnerable nations. Now is the time for action to ensure that no one is left behind as we build new and transformative partnerships, forging an inclusive and empowering future for millions of people living in Least Developed Countries.”

The Least Developed Countries have experienced some progress recently in areas including poverty reduction, improvements in child mortality rates, gender parity and access to internet and mobile networks. Economic growth has also been strong, even though its pace has been more volatile and below the average of the last decade. There has been an increase in the number of countries fulfilling criteria which will lead towards graduation from their status as a Least Developed Country.

Despite this, much needs to be done to build productive capacity in agriculture, manufacturing and services infrastructure building and energy access are the key sectors that will have far reaching effects in LDCs to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development. Least Developed Countries also need support to reduce their vulnerability to economic crises, climate-related events, natural disasters and health related threats. The press conference also highlighted how better governance, strong national leadership, robust and comprehensive global support can help deliver transformative results in Least Developed Countries.

The midterm review will be held immediately after the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. Both conferences reinforce the disproportionate impacts of the humanitarian crises on the Least Developed countries. The issues covered at the Midterm review will also highlight the importance of economic stability and peace and security as key to preventing humanitarian crises and promoting long term sustainable development.

In May 2011, at a UN conference in Istanbul, the international community renewed its commitments to support structural transformation in the poorest and most vulnerable group of nations in the next decade. The Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 encapsulates these commitments.

The international community is now reviewing the level of implementation of the Istanbul Programme, against the backdrop of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which underscore our common commitment to eradicate poverty, leave no one behind and protect our planet. The Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action will take place from 27-29 May 2016, Antalya, Turkey.

Further Information: www.ipoareview.org

Media Contacts: Louise Stoddard – stoddard@un.org, Damien Sass – sass@un.org

Sponsorship is available for one journalist from each of the Least Developed Countries to attend and cover the event in Antalya. Interested journalists should complete an Expression of Interest form by 13 May 2016: http://www.ipoareview.org/information-note/

Photo: Zambia.  Credit: Bread for the World/Flickr

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