UN Least Developed and Landlocked countries Under Secretary General visits Malawi to discuss SDG acceleration with national authorities and Development Partners

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Ms. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, visited Malawi from 6th to 9th February 2019 to launch the Malawi investment study on sustainable energy access.

The study aims to identify sustainable energy investment opportunities in Malawi and its preliminary results will be presented in an international meeting in China later in March this year to seek viable financing opportunities.

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UN envoy wants more women in business

The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over the difference in numbers between male and female entrepreneurs in the country, saying the situation fuels inequality between the two genders. Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu, UN under-secretary general for the least developed and landlocked countries, made the observation at the end of her four-day visit to Malawi at the weekend.

She said the opportunities for women were limited, making them struggle even more to survive in the male-dominated entrepreneurship landscape.

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New study launched to identify sustainable energy investment opportunities in Malawi

Lilongwe, 7 February 2019 – Investment is vital for sustainable energy to flourish in Malawi and to enable the life changing benefits that electricity brings to areas including education, health care, industry and the economy. A study launched today in Lilongwe, Malawi, will map a way forward for investment in the country’s sustainable energy sector, bringing together vital partners and identifying areas for action.

The study will provide an overview of concrete opportunities to increase investment in sustainable energy in Malawi. Today’s kickoff meeting brought together different stakeholders in the renewable energy sector, to align common goals and discuss lessons learnt and ways forward.

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Ahead of 2020 Deadline, World’s Poorest Countries Struggle to Meet Goals of Istanbul Programme of Action

23 January 2019 – Progress on achieving the goals of the dedicated programme of action for the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs) is falling short of what is needed by 2020.  Alarmingly, poverty and malnutrition remain high with a third of the 1 billion people in LDCs living in extreme poverty. This is according to the latest edition of the State of the Least Developed Countries report by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).

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UN-OHRLLS 2018 In Review

“It is with a sense of great achievement that I look back on 2018. OHRLLS has continued to forge important partnerships in support of the vulnerable countries”, said the High-Representative and Under Secretary General, Ms. Fekita ‘Utoikamanu.

In her message to the UN-OHRLLS 2018 in Review, Ms.‘Utoikamanu committed to keep up the work towards the goals of the three country groups, noting that “the inauguration of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries and the Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries have been key milestones”.

To find out more about UN-OHRLLS’ highlights in 2018, including the regional and inter-regional reviews of the Samoa Pathway for the Small Island Developing States, the events at HLPF, UNGA and COP24, please click here

New Managing Director for Technology Bank welcomed to United Nations

Mr. Joshua Phoho Setipa of Lesotho was welcomed to the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 4 December 2018, as the new Managing Director of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. The Technology Bank is the UN’s newest institution and is supporting science, technology and innovation in the world’s poorest countries.

Mr. Setipa succeeds Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director of UN-OHRLLS who served as the Acting Managing Director of the Technology Bank during its initial start-up phase.

Full press release

In Samoa – small island developing States meet to review progress and plan way forward

Small island developing States met in Samoa from 29 October to 1 November 2018 to review their progress in implementing the SAMOA Pathway, the programme of action for small islands. Representatives from the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Seas presented regional experiences and progress.

Representatives from small island developing States also met to launch a network of focal points who will be a vital link between the global and the national levels.

Supported by UN-OHRLLS, they will facilitate coordination, information sharing and planning on the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the Sustainable Development Goals.

How will the SAMOA Pathway be implemented and how do small islands progress towards sustainable development? Watch to find out more…

Supporting vulnerable countries at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly

The UNGA is a high priority in the annual calendar for UN-OHRLLS. It is a time to dialogue with delegations from many of the 91 countries the Office advocates for as well as with development partners supporting both the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States and the work of the Office.

This year UN-OHRLLS was involved with 19 GA events and USG ‘Utoikamanu held 20 bilateral meetings with partners. Find out more in this brief overview….

Looking back on this year’s UNGA Ministerial Meeting for Least Developed Countries

New ECOSOC resolution welcomes the inauguration of the Technology Bank for LDCs

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) welcomed in its new resolution adopted on 24th of July 2018 at the Coordination and management Meeting, the operationalization of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the inauguration of its headquarters in Gebze, Turkey.

In resolution L.26 adopted by consensus, on review and coordination of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020, the Council indicated that the operationalization and the inauguration of the Technology Bank “signify the achievement of the first SDG target (17.8)”.

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Technology Bank for least developed countries inaugurated

It is time to celebrate a new member of the UN family, the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries which was recently inaugurated in Gebze, Turkey. The Bank’s establishment marks the first SDG target achieved – SDG 17.8.  

Many UN staff, across the system have worked hard to make this ambitious project a reality since the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed countries was held in Turkey in 2011.

What is the Technology Bank? – It’s a new UN body tasked by the General Assembly to strengthen the knowledge capacity of the world’s 47 least developed countries so that they can foster development of their innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology, generate homegrown research, and promote their integration into the global knowledge-based economy. The challenge was how to implement it with no resources allocated to its establishment.

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High-speed internet shows great potential to boost livelihoods and improve economies in world’s poorest nations

The world’s least-developed countries are able to overcome the challenges of providing high-speed Internet connectivity to more communities, according to a new report released on 12 July 2018. The report, focusing on four country case studies Cambodia, Rwanda, Senegal and Vanuatu, highlights the important benefits to economies and livelihoods that broadband internet offers, reviewing the national experiences in leveraging high-speed internet infrastructure to overcome vulnerabilities, grow economies and enhance livelihoods.

The report was released by the Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Vulnerable Countries, chaired by Ms. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Read the full report

UN-OHRLLS highlights sustainable energy stories from journalists in least developed countries at HLPF

At the High-Level Political Forum in New York, UN-OHRLLs will be highlighting stories from least developed countries which highlight how sustainable energy is having an impact on communities in the world’s poorest countries. The Voices of a Brighter Future competition received entries from around the world detailing the challenges and successes experienced by least developed countries as they strive to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy.

An exhibition showcasing the seven winning journalists and their stories will be on display and New York UN headquarters and James Chavula, one of the winning journalists from the competition will be in New York taking part in various events. Read the full magazine with stories from winning journalists here

Tonga hosts UN regional meeting to review programme of action for small islands in the Pacific

Officials from small island developing States in the Pacific region are meeting in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa to review progress in implementing the SAMOA Pathway*; the dedicated programme of action for small island developing States (SIDS).

In declaring the meeting open this morning, the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, said “We are gathered here in Tonga at a critical juncture in terms of our common interests in the sustainable development of our islands.  As we approach the 5th year since the world came together in Samoa in 2014 and endorsed the SAMOA Pathway, it is critical that we recall the mandate of the Conference . . . especially in light of related international and regional processes that have come to be, after the fact.”

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Inaugural meeting of International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries takes place in Mongolia

A new centre of excellence for high quality research and policy advice for landlocked developing countries has held it’s first meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The International Think Tank for landlocked developing countries, the first intergovernmental body of this group of countries, will strengthen the analytical capacities of the world’s 32 poorest landlocked nations in economic growth and poverty reduction.

The centre aims to amplify their collective voice and defend the interests of landlocked developing countries at the global level and in the UN. The two-day inaugural meeting from 11 – 12 June 2018, was attended by Government representatives, the UN system, representatives from international organisations and the private sector, who will share information and experiences from landlocked developing countries. These include the role of foreign direct investment, economic diversification, information and communications technology, connectivity trade and transport

Technology Bank for least developed countries inaugurated in Turkey

A new United Nations body, which will address the challenges of the world’s poorest countries through science, technology and innovation, was officially inaugurated in Gebze, Turkey on 4 June 2018.

The UN General Assembly tasked the Technology Bank to strengthen the knowledge capacity of the world’s 47 least developed countries, foster development of their national and regional innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology and generate homegrown research and innovation. The Technology Bank has been the long-standing priority for least developed countries.

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MoU signed by Global Good, TÜBİTAK and Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in Gebze, Turkey

Gebze, 4 June 2018 – At the inauguration of the Technology Bank in Gebze, Turkey, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), the Global Good Fund and the Technology Bank to promote access to technologies and increase sciences, technology and innovation capacity for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

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Official Handover of the Technology Bank’s premises to the United Nations

The premises of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in Gebze, Turkey, were officially handed over today to the United Nations, by the Turkish Government ahead of an official inauguration on 4 June 2018.

The Acting Managing Director for the Technology Bank, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, expressed her sincere appreciation to the Government of Turkey for their support and commitment in the process leading to the establishment of the Technology Bank and for hosting it.

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Business forum strengthens tourism partnerships for small islands

Mauritius, 22 May 2018 – Representatives from governments, private sector, academia, civil society and the United Nations met at a Business Forum held in Mauritius to share best practices and lessons learned in strengthening partnerships for sustainable tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The two-day Small Island Developing States Global Business Network Forum (SIDSGBN) which was held from 21-22 May, 2018 was co-organised by the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). The overarching theme of the forum was “Strengthening private sector partnerships for sustainable tourism development.”

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Ministers from landlocked developing countries call for improved trade, transport and economic opportunities

Ministers and senior government officials from landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and development partners, are gathering in Astana, Kazakhstan today to identify ways in which trade, economic transformation and the development of transport infrastructure can benefit LLDCs.

Hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, the two-day Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries on Trade and Transport, will also include senior representatives from the UN, international and regional organizations, financial institutions and the private sector.

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UN-OHRLLS launches Voices of a Brighter Future digital magazine

UN-OHRLLS has launched a new digital magazine featuring LDC journalists and their winning articles from the Voices of a Brighter Future journalism competition recently held by the Office.  The magazine’s launch is timed to coincide with the start of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum taking place in Lisbon (2-3 May, 2018) and where the winning journalists will be participating.

To read the magazine, click here


Making progress on sustainable development, four least developed countries tapped to graduate from ranks of poorest

With increasing national earning power as well as access to better health care and education, four countries—Bhutan, Kiribati, São Tomé and Principe and Solomon Islands—will be recommended for graduation from the least developed country category, the United Nations Committee for Development Policy has announced. Read more…

 Don’t miss our social media graduation campaign and interviews with member states about what graduation means for their countries.

Read a full guide to graduation for least developed countries here