The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 through its resolution 56/227 with functions recommended by the Secretary-General in paragraph 17 of his report A/56/645. In this same resolution the General Assembly requested Member States, all United Nations system organizations, and other relevant multilateral organizations to extend full support and cooperation to the Office of the High Representative.
The key functions of the Office of the High Representative in accordance with the Secretary-General’s report A/56/645 are as follows:
(a) To assist the Secretary-General in ensuring the full mobilization and coordination of all parts of the United Nations system, with a view to facilitating the coordinated implementation of and coherence in the follow-up and monitoring of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries at the country, regional and global levels;
(b) To provide coordinated support to the Economic and Social Council as well as the General Assembly in assessing progress and in conducting the annual review of the implementation of the Programme of Action;
(c) To support, as appropriate, the coordinated follow-up of the implementation of the Global Framework This Global Framework has now been replaced by the Almaty Declaration and Programme of Action, 2003 for Transit Transport Cooperation between Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and the Donor Community and the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States;
(d) To undertake appropriate advocacy work in favour of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States in partnership with the relevant parts of the United Nations as well as with the civil society, media, academia and foundations;
(e) To assist in mobilizing international support and resources for the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries and other programmes and initiatives for landlocked developing countries and small island developing States;
(f) To provide appropriate support to group consultations of Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
Programmes of Action
Istanbul Programme of Action (Least Developed Countries)
The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) charts out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs for the next decade with a strong focus on developing their productive capacities. A broad range of actors is expected to contribute to the IPoA implementation, including donor countries, developing countries, parliaments, the private sector, civil society, the UN system and international and regional financial institutions. The IPoA recognizes that LDCs represent an enormous human and natural resource potential for world economic growth, welfare and prosperity and that addressing their special development needs will contribute to the cause of peace, prosperity and sustainable development for all.
During the next 10 years, LDCs’ national policies of LDCs and international support measures will focus on the following specific objectives:
- Achieve sustained, equitable and inclusive economic growth by strengthening the LDCs productive capacity
- Build human capacities by fostering sustained, equitable and inclusive human and social development, gender equality and the empowerment of women
- Reduce the vulnerability of LDCs to economic, natural and environmental shocks and disasters through strengthening their resilience
- Ensure enhanced financial resources
- Enhance good governance at all levels, by strengthening democratic processes, institutions and the rule of law
Vienna Programme of Action (Landlocked Developing Countries)
Thirty-two of the world’s landlocked countries with a population of about 440 million, face an array of challenges mainly associated with their lack of direct territorial access to the sea and remoteness from world markets. Their dependence on other countries for international trade via transit is an element that adds on to these various challenges.
The Vienna Programme of Action, the new holistic document centered upon addressing the challenges faced by landlocked countries, aims to contribute to the eradication of poverty stemming from their landlockedness, through the implementation of specific actions in the priority areas of the renowned document.
Six Priorities in the Vienna Programme of Action
- Priority 1: Fundamental transit policy issues
- Priority 2: Infrastructure development and maintenance
- (a) Transport infrastructure
- (b) Energy and information and communications technology infrastructure
- Priority 3: International trade and trade facilitation
- (a) International trade
- (b) Trade facilitation
- Priority 4: Regional integration and cooperation
- Priority 5: Structural economic transformation
- Priority 6: Means of implementation
The SAMOA Pathway
The SAMOA Pathway is the outcome of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, expanded the mandate of UN-OHRLLS as pertaining to SIDS by requesting the Office under its advocacy mandate, to ensure the mainstreaming of the SAMOA Pathway and SIDS related issues in the work of the UN system and to enhance the coherence of SIDS issues in UN processes, including at the national, regional and global levels and likewise continue to mobilize international support and resources to support SIDS implementation of the SAMOA Pathway. [paragraph 120 of SAMOA Pathway]
- Support the coordinated follow-up of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.
- Undertake advocacy work in favour of the small island developing States in partnership with the relevant parts of the United Nations as well as with the civil society, media, academia and foundations.
- Assist in mobilizing international support and resources for the implementation of the Programme of Action.
- Provide support to group consultations of SIDS.
- Ensure the mainstreaming of the SAMOA Pathway and SIDS related issues in the work of the UN system and to enhance the coherence of SIDS issues in UN processes.