WHAT:
Ministerial conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on “Making Globalisation Work for the Least Developed Countries”

WHO:
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 50 LDCs, Permanent Representatives of the 50 LDCs to the United Nations in New York, national experts, experts from the United Nations and other international organisations, academia, civil society and private sector representatives hosted by the Government of Turkey

WHERE:
Conrad Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

WHEN:
9 – 10 July 2007

WHY:
1. Draw attention to the marginalization of LDCs in the global economy
2. Highlight the need for beneficial integration of LDCs in the global economy as a prerequisite for their sustainable development
3. Promote South-South cooperation:
a) between LDCs and developing countries, in particular Turkey
b) among LDCs

BACKGROUND:
Globalization has opened unprecedented opportunities for the movement of goods, services and people. Yet, the 50 poorest countries in the world classified by the United Nations as the least developed countries (LDCs) have failed to benefit from its fruits: liberalization of international trade, expansion of foreign direct investment, integration of financial markets and technological innovations. Structural weakness of their economies, low human, institutional, technological, trade and productive capacities, poor physical and social infrastructure, degradation of environment and geographical handicaps, limited capability to mobilize domestic resources and lack of enabling environment to promote entrepreneurship and attract foreign investment which hamper their development and prevent them from fair competition at the international level. The situation is further exacerbated by their unsustainable external debt, spikes in oil prices and agricultural protectionism of industrial countries. Global warming or climate change has recently emerged as new challenge to the development of LDCs, in particular those that are small islands and in Africa. As a result, the LDCs are getting further marginalized in the global economy and remain trapped in the vicious circle of extreme poverty.

MORE INFORMATION:
1. Fred Kirungi, UN-OHRLLS, New York. Tel: +1 917 367 3431 Email: kirungi@un.org
2. Ms. Gulin Dinc, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Istanbul. Tel: + 90 312 292 27 55 Email: gdinc@mfa.gov.tr