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Annual Ministerial Meeting on LDCs Highlights Horn of Africa Crisis, Potential of Sustainable Development

26 September 2011: The Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) focused on global development challenges, including the famine in the Horn of Africa, and links to sustainable development. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, addressed the meeting.

The meeting was held on 26 September 2011, at UN Headquarters, New York, US. Secretary-General Ban stressed that: the crisis will affect a generation of children; droughts, desertification and land degradation have impacts on numerous countries; and diseases will ruin the health of people and economies in the region. He noted that the Istanbul Programme of Action provides a framework for collaboration to fulfill the commitments made to LDCs. He highlighted that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) will be a critical occasion to discuss global development challenges, and indicated that the next generation of development targets beyond 2015 will need to reflect the sustainability dimension.

General Assembly President Al-Nasser noted that LDCs are among the most vulnerable countries in the world and recalled the tsunami in the Maldives, the earthquake in Haiti and the drought in Somalia. In addition to the financial crisis, he said, rising prices of food and fuel have affected the implementation of domestic programmes aimed at promoting sustainable development. Noting that sustainable development is the way to address challenges that disproportionately affect the LDCs, Al-Nasser indicated that he will engage in preparations for Rio+20 and said LDCs should feature prominently in the process. [UN News Centre Story] [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [Statement of UNGA President]