A major United Nations meeting focusing on the world’s least developed countries called for greater support to the world’s most vulnerable nations in its closing statement on May 29 in Turkey’s southern resort province of Antalya.
The three-day U.N.’s Midterm Review Conference of the Istanbul Program of Action (IPoA) for Least Developed Countries (LDCs,) co-organized by Turkey and the United Nations’ Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (U.N.-OHRLLS), reviewed progress made on the path to sustainable development as set out in the IPoA.
The meeting adopted a political declaration, in which participants highlighted how the LDCs have experienced some recent progress in areas including reduced child and maternal mortality rates, gender parity in education and parliaments and access to the Internet and mobile networks.
The meeting reaffirmed a strong commitment to reverse the decline in official development assistance and fulfill the pledge made by development partners to allocate the equivalent of 0.2 percent of their gross national income to LDCs.
“We are pleased that a number of important initiatives have been put forward that will support the Least Developed Countries to reach their full potential” said Gyan Chandra Acharya, the U.N.-OHRLLS undersecretary-general and high representative.
“Strengthening global partnerships and supporting strong national leadership and ownership will assist almost 1 billion people living in vulnerable countries as they work towards a bright and productive future. It is important that we build solid links between the IPoA and global development frameworks in order to accelerate progress in the next five years,” he added.
Speaking at the closing session of the meeting, Turkish Deputy Foreign Undersecretary Ayşe Sinirlioğlu said that the conference was an important opportunity to address commitments and strengthen the global partnership with LDCs.
“It was also an important opportunity to further strengthen the global partnership needed to overcome the challenges which lie ahead,” said Sinirlioğlu, adding that they delivered successfully on both counts.
The three-day conference was a comprehensive review of how the 2011 IPoA has been implemented. The program, passed at the Fourth U.N. Conference on LDCs, charts out the international community’s strategy for sustainable development through 2021, with a strong focus on developing LDCs’ productive capacities.
The declaration said that Turkey was set to host a technology bank for LDCs in the Gebze district of the northwestern province of Kocaeli.
“We reaffirm our commitment to fully operationalize the technology bank for the Least Developed Countries, in view of its potential to foster productive capacity, structural transformation, poverty eradication and sustainable development,” said the statement.
“We stress that generous and sustained support will be crucial to ensure the success of the technology bank. We welcome the fact that Turkey will host the technology bank for the Least Developed Countries in Gebze, and we call upon the government of Turkey to continue its support for the bank.”
Sinrilioğlu said the technology bank will make significant contributions to LDCs’ scientific and technological capacity.
“We will do our part to make the technology bank operational by the end of this year,” she said.