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Preparatory Meeting for LDC IV Calls for Action on Brussels Programme

14 January 2011: The first session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC IV) took place from 10-14 January 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. LDC IV will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9-13 May 2011.

Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Africa and High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), addressed the meeting in his capacity as Secretary-General of the Istanbul Conference. He underscored that the recent multiple crises pose serious threats to the development efforts of LDCs. He said the Programme of Action would focus on key priorities such as improving access to technology, promoting an agricultural revolution to eliminate hunger and ensure food security, managing climate change and ensuring a genuine green deal, and ensuring good developmental governance. Diarra said that LDC IV would determine the development paradigm for years to come and noted the need for sustainable economic prosperity in the 48 LDCs. This would require a structural transformation, to ensure protection from external shocks, and he said the international community must create a global architecture and external environment to support LDCs.

The Maldives said the UN needs better methods to address SIDS' needs. His country was one of only three to have graduated from LDC status, but in being graduated by the UN General Assembly, social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities had been overlooked, he said.

During the session, the LDCs submitted a draft Programme of Action to be adopted at LDC IV. Uganda called for the action programme to put LDCs on a path to high, sustainable growth, as measured by indicators of socio-economic transformation. Pakistan said the programme should support agricultural productivity and institutional capacity for sustainable economic growth. Thailand echoed the call to enhance productive capacity and emphasized sustainable agricultural development. It suggested that a “creative economy” with value coming from intellectual capacity could provide an alternative to industrialization. Madagascar said that strategies are needed to promote sustainable development, including in the area of development cooperation. Several States noted the inadequate progress toward the targets in the 2001 Brussels Programme of Action.

The meeting adopted the draft report of its session (A/CONF.219/IPC/L.1). The second PrepCom will take place from 4-8 April 2011. [Conference Website]