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As a preventive measure amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some of the high-level meetings organized by UNOHRLLS worldwide have been postponed or cancelled. Others are still being reviewed.

Officials from Africa’s Least Developed Countries stress major Challenges but also Bright Spots in Tackling COVID-19

NEW YORK 16 June 2020 – Tackling health crises is not a new experience for Africa’s least developed countries (LDCs), but the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting larger scale socio-economic challenges few of these vulnerable countries are prepared for.

In determining the extent to which the pandemic has impacted Africa’s thirty-three LDCs, government officials* acting as focal points for their respective governments, as well as United Nations officials met virtually on 11 June to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 and the mitigation measures being employed to stem the spread of the disease.

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Urgent Action needed for World’s Vulnerable Countries to meet Energy Targets by 2030

NEW YORK 12 JUNE 2020 – Universal access to sustainable energy remains a major requirement for the world’s most vulnerable countries to gain a foothold in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the latest Tracking SDG7 energy progress report, promising progress toward energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency has been made however efforts are falling well short of the scale required to meet the SDG 7 targets by 2030.

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Joint UN Call for Smooth Transit and Transport Facilitation to and from Landlocked Developing Countries

NEW YORK 9 June 2020 – When borders all over the world close down, what happens to those countries dependent on moving goods and services through them?

Conditions in many Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) are deteriorating rapidly as a result of lockdown measures and international restrictions on the movement of people and goods. COVID-19 has affected us all, but Landlocked Developing Countries have been hit hard, and in unique ways.

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UN-OHRLLS and WCO Call for Trade and Transit Facilitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW YORK 29 May 2020 – The impacts of COVID-19 will have significant long term socio-economic impacts on the world’s Landlocked Developing Countries.

Recognizing the specific challenges faced by LLDCs, High Representative Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu and the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, have issued a joint statement calling upon LLDCs and transit countries to maintain the continuity of international and regional supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Landlocked Developing Countries Call for Action on COVID-19

NEW YORK 27 May 2020 – The coronavirus pandemic is much more than a health crisis that is resulting in significant socio-economic impacts affecting the ability of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) to achieve the goals of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs for the decade 2014-2024 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In a joint statement issued by Ambassadors of LLDCs at the United Nations, the group stress that if the impact of COVID-19 is not prevented or mitigated, it could reverse the gains that have been made by the LLDCs on the Sustainable Development Goals and the LLDCs risk being left behind.

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NEW YORK 8 May 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting food systems globally and pushing the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people toward greater food insecurity.

In a matter of weeks, the pandemic has laid bare the underlying risks, fragility, and inequities in global food systems; pushing them closer to breaking point. As the pandemic and the accompanying economic shocks spread southward around the globe, they will inevitably arrive in rural areas where the vast majority of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people live and where public health and social protection are weak.

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NEW YORK 22 April 2020 – A new report from the UN Secretary-General assesses development progress made by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) since 2011, which is threatened by COVID-19 and the global downturn.

In the report, he notes that progress has been made in areas like access to information and communications technology (ICT), sustainable energy, health, education, gender, export concentration and governance. However, the report also says that there has been limited progress on poverty and debt alleviation and economic and export growth. 

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Vulnerable Countries Risk Being Left Behind in Rapidly Changing Financial Landscape – Report

NEW YORK 9 April 2020 – The 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report of the Inter-Agency Task Force, launched today, finds that the international economic and financial systems are not only failing to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but that there has been substantial backsliding in key action areas. In this environment, which has been worsened drastically by the impact of COVID-19, many countries—and especially least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), small island developing States (SIDS), and other vulnerable countries—will not be able to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

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COVID-19: For the first time we’re talking about a development emergency response    

NEW YORK, 6 April 2020 – With COVID-19, the world is facing an unprecedented threat. The novel coronavirus has spread to over 200 countries and territories that are facing, in the words of the Deputy Secretary-General, “not just a health emergency or a humanitarian emergency but for the first time a development emergency”. 

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Statement by the High Representative regarding the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable countries

My thoughts and best wishes are with all of you. 

A tsunami called COVID-19 is hitting us.  We are in the throes of a virus that knows no borders and travels on land and sea at lightning speeds.  

The disruption and the suffering are everywhere. And for now we live with them everywhere.  

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World’s most vulnerable countries lack the capacity to respond to a global pandemic

NEW YORK, 2 April 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people across the world. Cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have now been detected – with the exception of a handful of countries – in the majority of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS); three vulnerable country groups with a combined population of over 1 billion. 

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POSTPONED: Africa Regional Review Meeting in preparation for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

NEW YORK, 4 March 2020 – While the Africa Regional Review Meeting in Malawi (11-13 March 2020) was at an advanced stage of preparation, we regret to inform participants that the meeting is now postponed, with further updates to follow, due to an abundance of caution in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak.


International Community Reaffirms Commitments to World’s Landlocked Developing Countries

NEW YORK, 5 December 2019The United Nations General Assembly today adopted a political declaration reaffirming commitments by the international community to address the special development needs of the world’s thirty-two Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

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Business Network Calls for Scaling Up Ocean Partnerships for Small Island Developing States

OSLO, 23 October 2019 – Healthy oceans guarantee productive livelihoods, food security and socio-economic benefits for the world’s small island developing states (SIDS). However, these benefits are being severely tested. The oceans today are severely affected by the climate crisis, over-fishing, pollution and biodiversity loss.

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UN works to provide integrated support to the Solomon Islands as it prepares to graduate from Least Developed Country status

HONIARA, 22 October 2019 – On 17-18 October, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Least Developed Country Graduation, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government, held a 2-day workshop to kickstart the process of preparing for a smooth graduation from Least Developed Country Status.

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Malawi Has an Opportunity to Achieve 100% Sustainable Energy Access by 2030

LILONGWE, 9 October 2019 – Malawi, a least developed country (LDC), has an opportunity to achieve 100% access to electricity by 2030 according to the Malawi Sustainable Energy Study launched today in the country’s capital.

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Reporting on the United Nations General Assembly through Island Voices

NEW YORK, 1 October 2019 – World leaders gathered last week at UN Headquarters to signal how they will boost action to respond to the climate emergency, ensure health and well -being of people, accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and support small island developing States.

Working behind the scenes to report on the proceedings was a group of fifteen journalists from small island developing States (SIDS) who were selected through the Island Voices journalism campaign.

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UN-OHRLLS and IRENA Agree to Support Renewable Energy Growth in World’s Most Climate Vulnerable Countries

NEW YORK, 27 September 2019 – The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have today underscored their commitment to strengthen cooperation aimed at advancing renewable energy in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

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High Representative Welcome Message UNGA74

NEW YORK, 20 September 2019 – The 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is upon us. World leaders will soon gather to signal how countries will work together to tackle the climate emergency, ensure health and wellbeing of people, accelerate achievement of the SDGs and support small island developing States.

Opinion – Multidisciplinarity of Data: Time to Put Data at the Heart of UN’s 2030 Agenda

NEW YORK, 16 September 2019 – The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, all meant to guide efforts by all countries towards a more sustainable, prosperous and equal future.

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São Tomé and Príncipe Prepares to Graduate from Least Developed Country Status

SAO TOME, 12 September 2019 – São Tomé and Príncipe, one of the world’s forty-seven Least Developed Countries (LDCs), will graduate from the category in December 2024. After exceeding the Human Assets Index (HAI) and per capita income thresholds, São Tomé and Príncipe met the criteria for graduation in 2015.

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Video Message by High Representative to 10th General Meeting of CARICOM and UN system

The Tenth General Meeting between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its associated institutions and the United Nations (UN) system was convened at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, on 23 and 24 July 2019.  High Representative Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu spoke via video message.

Cabo Verde hosts UN Meeting on Localising SAMOA Pathway in Small Island Developing States

PRAIA, 25 July 2019 – Government representatives from small islands and the United Nations are meeting in Cabo Verde over the next two days to strengthen coordination of efforts to localize the SAMOA Pathway* and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in small island developing States (SIDS).

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Aid for Trade — Global review 2019 — Session 61 : LDC Graduation: Supporting inclusive and sustainable development in graduating LDCs

GENEVA, 3 July 2019 – The Aid for Trade Global Review 2019 took place from 3 to 5 July at the WTO under the theme “Supporting Economic Diversification and Empowerment for Inclusive, Sustainable Development through Aid for Trade”. Session 61 focused on LDC graduation and was broadcast live. To view, click here.

Latin America and Caribbean regional meeting to review Vienna Programme of Action begins in Santiago, Chile

SANTIAGO, 11 June 2019 – Midway through the ten-year programme of action for the world’s thirty-two landlocked developing countries, officials from landlocked and transit countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region are meeting to take stock of their collective progress in implementing the Vienna Programme of Action.

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Urgent Action Needed to Scale-up Energy Access in World’s Poorest Countries

BEIJING, 31 May 2019 – Without urgent and enhanced action, the world’s forty-seven least developed countries will not achieve global sustainable energy targets by 2030. This was the backdrop to discussions which took place over the last two days at a United Nations conference on scaling-up energy access and finance in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Beijing.

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