Midterm Comprehensive Global Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001 - 2010

Informal interactive hearings with civil society, NGOs and private sector, New York, 22 June 2006

Background Note

The Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 aims at improving the human condition of the more than 700 million people of the 50 LDCs, which represent the poorest and weakest segment of the international community.

Adopted at the Third United Nations Conference on the LDCs in Brussels in 2001, the Programme of Action provides a framework for a global partnership between LDCs and their development partners to “accelerate sustained economic growth and sustainable development in the LDCs, to end marginalisation by eradicating poverty, inequality and deprivation in these countries and to enable them to integrate beneficially into the global economy.”

In a recent resolution (A/59/244), the General Assembly decided to hold the midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the Programme of Action in 2006. Recognising the crucial importance of civil society and private sector contributions to the implementation of the Programme of Action, the General Assembly, in a subsequent resolution (A/60/228), further requested the President of the General Assembly to convene one-day informal interactive hearings in New York.

The objective of the one-day informal interactive hearings is to create a space where civil society and the private sector can interact with Member States and offer input into the midterm review process, which will assess progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action, share best practices and lessons learned, and identify obstacles and constraints to the further implementation of the Programme of Action. The hearings will be held on Thursday, the 22nd of June 2006 in the ECOSOC Chamber.

The outcome of the informal interactive hearings will be a summary prepared by the President of the General Assembly in which the views and recommendations of civil society and private sector actors in attendance will be taken into account. The President’s summary will be considered by Member States at the high level meeting on the midterm comprehensive review of the Programme of Action.

To ensure an open, transparent and participatory process, the President of the General Assembly has established a Task Force to assist in the planning of the hearings comprised of representatives from civil society, the private sector and relevant UN focal points. The Task Force’s primary functions will be to help identify civil society and private sector participants for the hearings and assist in formulating the event’s format and general modus operandi.