UN-OHRLLS at 15 - supporting vulnerable countries towards a sustainable future
Foreword by Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
Working towards a bright future for vulnerable countries
Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox reflects on four years as Director of UN-OHRLLS
Thoughts on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of UN-OHRLLS
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, first Under-Secretary-General and High Representative, UN-OHRLLS (2002-2007)
Civil Society offer vital perspectives from Least Developed Countries
International Coordinator, LDC Watch
Stories from vulnerable countries
A United Nations conference is set to undertake a review of progress made during the past five years by the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs), which comprise about 12 per cent of the global population.
Called the Midterm Review conference for the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, it will take place in Antalya, in the south of Turkey, from 27 to 29 May.
Adopted in 2011, the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) is a plan that charts out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs for the next decade.
“[The conference] is important as it is taking place at a midpoint of the decade long Programme of Action, in the first year of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the other global development frameworks,” Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, told reporters at apress briefing.
“We are taking stock of the successes but also challenges and lessons learned. It is also an opportunity to capitalize on the shared will of the international community to redouble efforts in accelerating support for the LDCs based on a strong national leadership and ownership,” added the UN official, who is also the High Representative for Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
According to studies undertaken by the United Nations, the general economic growth of LDCs has been positive since 2011, rising by about 4 per cent in 2012 and by 5.3 per cent in 2014.
“The challenge is that it is not shared equally by all,” stressed Mr. Acharya, adding that almost a quarter of the LDCs have a growth rate of more than 7 per cent, which is quite substantial.
The senior UN official noted that progress can especially be seen in the area of human development, access to the internet and telephone networks, infrastructure expansion, access to energy, reduction of child and maternal mortality rates, access to primary education, and women’s representation in parliament.
“But there are also many challenges. Incidence of poverty is still very high in these countries – almost half of the population is still below the poverty line,” he warned, underlining that many of the LDCs see their growth rates rise, but over time aren’t sustainable as many face conflict.
“Looking ahead in the next five years, what we’re really trying to discuss in the conference is what are the challenges that [the LDCs] face, for which they require strong national leadership and ownership, but also what can the international community do about it, in terms of raising resources, in terms of strengthening their institutions, but also in terms of helping them accelerate progress and building reliance.”
Participation is expected at the highest possible political level and will bring together various stakeholders, including representatives from governments, the private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society, and academia. The conference will result in an inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed outcome in the form of a political declaration.
According to Mr. Acharya’s Office (OHRLLS), the LDCs represent the poorest and weakest segment of the international community. They comprise more than 880 million people.
Their low level of socio-economic development is characterized by weak human and institutional capacities, low and unequally distributed income and scarcity of domestic financial resources. They often suffer from governance crisis, political instability and, in some cases, internal and external conflicts. Their largely agrarian economies are affected by a vicious cycle of low productivity and low investment. Only a handful has been able to diversify into the manufacturing sector, though with a limited range of products in labour-intensive industries, i.e. textiles and clothing.
The category of LDCs was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly with a view to attracting special international support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the UN family.
The current list of LDCs includes 48 countries (the newest member being South Sudan); 34 in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Pacific and 1 in Latin America. For LDC country profiles, click here.
Photo: Severely malnourished children from the neighbouring refugee camps are transferred to the in-patient therapeutic feeding centre of Batouri, Cameroon. The centre had only 12 beds before the CAR crisis. Photo: WFP/Sylvain Cherkaoui
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, email@example.com or Daphne Davies, from LDC News Service: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Internship Opportunities with the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
Job Title : INTERN – ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, I
Department/Office : Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
Location : NEW YORK
Job Opening number: 33839
Posting Period: 18 March 2014-2 April 2014
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. For more information on the key functions of the Office, please visit our web page http://unohrlls.org/
The application period is open until 2 April 2014. Fill in your application by using Inspira, the UN Human Resources gateway: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=SJ&exp=All&level=0&location=All&occup=0&department=5928&bydate=0&occnet=0
Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background; the intern’s assigned office as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to, assistance in drafting and preparing official documents, attending and summarizing conferences and meetings, document, legal and internet research, assistance during conferences, working on web-presentations, evaluation of projects, compiling statistics, media analysis and speech-writing.
Org. Setting And Reporting:
The OHRLLS internship is for two months with an opportunity for extension, pending on the needs of the department. The internship is UNPAID and full-time. Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.