Friday, 29 August 2014

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UN panel report wants international support for LCDs

A report by the UN Group of Eminent Persons, has called for international support and ``determined national action'' to help the Least Developed Countries (LDC) to break out of a decades-long poverty trap.

The report, was released on Tuesday at the UN headquarters, ahead of a summit on the LDCs in May.

A statement on the report, which was made available to PANA in New York, stated that, ``there is upward progress in category after category of economic and human well-being indicators by developed and dynamic developing countries, while LDC trends are close to flat-lining''.

It also noted the high incidence of conflicts in countries with extreme poverty and weak institutions, saying that, ``increasing marginalization of the LDCs is creating a future that we, as a global community, cannot afford''.

The statement, however, said that the report outlined some measures to overcome the problems confronting the LDCs.

They include adequate, prioritized and better targeted development assistance, duty- and quota-free access for LDC exports, doubling farm productivity and school enrolment in these countries and beefing up the developmental and democratic capacities of LDC governments.

``The panel also promotes an innovative scheme for cooperation with neighbouring countries in six sub-regions where LDCs are located, and also linking the least developed countries themselves in geographically oriented self-help groupings,'' it stated.

``This is the time for global solidarity to achieve progress even in the poorest countries of the world, which will go a long way in advancing global prosperity and security,” the report stated.

The 48 LDCs include 33 in sub-Saharan Africa and outlying islands, 14 in South Asia and Oceania, and one (Haiti) in the Caribbean.

The upcoming Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries takes place 9-13 May in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Group of Eminent Persons are co-chair Alpha Oumar Konare, former President of Mali and former Chairman of the African Union Commission, and James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank.

Others on the panel are Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder and chairperson of the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Centre for Global Development and Kemal Dervis, vice president and director of Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution.

Also, Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary Professor of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Louis A. Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Louis Michel, a member of the European Parliament and Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Sumitomo Chemical Company Ltdare on the panel


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