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Action plan for LDCs: Key recommendations

May 17, 2011

The fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) closed with an action plan to halve the number of LDCs by the next decade. Journalist Mark Tran lists economic growth and enhanced trade as key to achieve the objective.



The United Nations Conference on the least developed countries closed on Friday in Istanbul, Turkey, with a number of recommendations seeking to halve, from 48 to 24, the number of LDCs during the next 10 years.

This was the first UN LDC conference with a private sector track, which included a trade fair where a large number of LDC businesses were able to form networks with their developed-world counterparts. The others tracks were intergovernmental, parliamentary and civil society. These are the key points and recommendations from the conference:

Productive capacity – Recommendations for LDCs

• Increase significantly the value addition in natural resource-based industries, paying special attention to employment generation

• Diversify local productive and export capability with a focus on dynamic value-added sectors in agriculture, manufacturing and services

• Significantly increase access to telecommunication services and strive to provide 100% access to the internet by 2020

• Strive to increase total primary energy supply per capita to the same level as other developing countries

• Significantly increase the share of electricity generation through renewable sources by 2020
Private sector – LDCs

• Promote a dialogue between the private sector and government and strengthen public-private partnerships

• Promote women's entrepreneurship

Trade – for developed countries

• Realise timely implementation of duty-free, quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all LDCs consistent with Hong Kong declaration by the World Trade Organisation in 2005

• Make substantial efforts for early conclusion of the Doha trade talks

• Reaffirm special and preferential treatment for LDCs in WTO trade agreements

Aid – developed countries

• Clear need for much more determined efforts by developed countries to fufil, and where possible, enhance their aid commitments

• Donor countries providing more than 0.20% of their GNP as official development aid continue to do so and maximise their efforts to further increase aid to least developed countries

• Other donor countries which have met the 0.15% target: undertake to reach 0.20% expeditiously

• All other donor countries which have committed themselves to the 0.15% target: reaffirm their commitment and undertake either to achieve the target by 2015

Debt – developed countries

• Provide full and timely financing for the implementation of the heavily indebted poor countries initiative and the multilateral debt relief initiative that have provided debt relief 25 LDCs

Climate change – developed countries

• Provide adequate financial and technical assistance and support, as appropriate, to access appropriate, affordable and sustainable technologies needed for the implementation of national plans of action and mitigation plans

Foreign direct investment – LDCs

• Remove barriers to investment, securing contract enforcement and promoting respect for property rights and promote public-private partnership

• Establish a one-window facility for registration and oversight of new and existing FDI and other external financial flows

Implementation, follow-up monitoring

• Each LDC should integrate provisions of plan of action into national policy

• UN secretary general to mobilise all parts of the UN system to coordinate implementation in follow-up and monitoring at all levels from national to global

Source : Guardian
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