16 May 2016, London/Kathmandu: Hundreds of civil society representatives will be gathering in Antalya, Turkey at the end of May telling the international community to fulfil the pledges they made in 2011 to help Least Developed Countries (LDCs) lift their populations out of poverty. The Civil Society Forum, hosted by LDC Watch, an umbrella group for NGOs from Least Developed Countries, takes place in the run-up to the official UN meeting being held to review LDCs progress. It is bringing together hundreds of NGOs from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas to debate how to push forward the development agenda. Gauri Pradhan, LDC Watch International Coordinator, emphasised that “as well as asking the international community to stick to its promises, NGOs from LDCs are urging their own governments to welcome them as partners in building up their countries, and to bring in measures to fight national corruption and for more transparent governance”. While good progress has been made with economic growth of over 5 percentage points in some LDCs, these countries also need support to reduce their vulnerability to economic crises, natural disasters and health pandemics such as ebola. Many are facing immediate threats of climate change, with droughts, floods, increasing desertification and rising sea levels. The Civil Society Forum (26-28 May) is being held in run up-to the UN meeting on LDCs (27-29 May). The CSF will hear from representatives from Bangladesh, Benin, Cambodia, Kiribati, Nepal, Senegal, and Togo, as well as regional organisations such as SEATINI, representing Southern and Eastern Africa, and SAAPE, representing Southern Asia. The UN meeting, entitled ‘the Mid-Term Review’ is examining how LDCs have progressed since the last international meeting in Istanbul (LDCIV) in 2011, where the international community renewed its commitments to support LDCs structural transformation. For more details about the Civil Society Forum, please contact: Prerna Bomzan, firstname.lastname@example.org or Daphne Davies, from LDC News Service: email@example.com Notes 1. As their name implies, LDCs are the world’s poorest, most under-developed countries. There are currently 48 LDCs, two-thirds of which are in Africa, with the remaining one-third in the Asia-Pacific region, and only one – Haiti -in the Americas. They comprise 12% the global population. 2. The Mid-Term Review, being held in Antalya 27-29 May is assessing progress made on fulfilling the recommendations in the Istanbul Program of Action, drawn up at the Fourth UN Summit to discuss LDCs (LDCIV), held in Istanbul in May 2011.