Distinguished members of the PrepCom Bureau,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have now reached the final session of the Second Session of the International Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which began almost a week ago. During the last five days, representatives from member states, international organizations, including from the UN System, parliaments, civil society and private sector have come together to discuss progress made in the logistical and substantive preparations of the Fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs. The Second PrepCom has, in particular, provided an opportunity to continue negotiations on what is expected to be the Istanbul Outcome Document.
Presentations from various tracks and from the host country, Turkey, on the logistical arrangements indicated that much has been done to ensure a successful Istanbul Conference. The substantive preparations are also underway. Pre-conference events have been completed while text-based negotiations on the draft Istanbul Outcome continue.
Allow to me to share with my thoughts on the ongoing negotiations.
Much of the Second PrepCom has been devoted to the negotiations on the Istanbul Outcome Document. This reflects not only the importance attached to an early and satisfactory conclusion of the negotiations but also mirrors the efforts of the whole UN membership to take the LDC development agenda forward.
Yet the road ahead remains arduous. The negotiations have not made as much progress as I had hoped for. Much distance needs to be travelled to ensure a meaningful outcome for LDCs. I am, however, confident; confident because of the resounding determination of all the negotiating parties to bridge their differences and secure an ambitious, focused, action and result-oriented Outcome with concrete deliverables and commitments.
This week of give and take reminds us about the ultimate goal of any negotiations: finding common ground andbalancing interest. This is the spirit that has enabled member states to make some encouraging, although slow, headways. As can be seen from the content of the revised version of the draft Outcome Document, some important steps have been made and agreements on concrete language have started. Let us nurture and scale up this trend for the benefit of the 880 million citizens from LDCs.
Another note of optimism is the agreement that the negotiations should not be a one-time event butcontinuous. Let us capitalize on this and achieve a rapid and development-oriented conclusion of the negotiations before the Fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs kicks off. I appeal to all member states to focus on concrete measures that will contribute to the value addition of a new Programme of Action and leave some of the controversies about terminologies behind.
I wish to assure you of the continued commitment and willingness of OHRLLS and that of the whole Secretariat of the Conference to support the negotiations in whichever way you and the Bureau may deem necessary.
I do believe that, collectively, we can all work together in ensuring a meaningful Outcome for the LDCs and the whole humanity at large.
Allow me to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the highly able and professional way in which you have guided the proceedings of the Conference, including the negotiations. My gratitude also goes to the two co-Chairs, Ethiopia and Turkey, the Rapporteur, Benin, and other members of the PrepCom Bureau for their invaluable contributions to Second Session of the International Preparatory Committee.
The progress made in the negotiations would have not possible without the hard work and constructive engagement of key negotiators, and clarifications and contributions from UN system organizations. I wish to express my deep gratitude to them for this.
I should also want to thank the interpreters and the conference services staff in this room for their constant efforts to make this Conference a success.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the government of Turkey for its constant and valuable support to the Conference. Along the same line, I was also pleased by the very informative briefing given by the Turkish delegation on the logistical arrangements for the Conference.
Further, I am also grateful to the generous contributions to the LDC Trust Fund and the new pledges made by several countries, in particular Australia, Canada, China, EU Commission, Republic of Korea, Finland and Slovenia. The resources from this Fund have enabled us to secure the participation of a good number of participants from LDCs.
To conclude, May I take this opportunity to wish a safe journey to those travelling back to their capitals or duty stations. For those, in New York, who will continue the negotiations on Istanbul Outcome Document on behalf of the entire UN membership, I urge them to carry forward the positive spirit of our deliberations here.
Let continue to serve the LDCs and humanity together.
I thank you all once again for your active participation and support and look forward to seeing all of you in Istanbul in a month time.
Thank you for your kind attention.