28 April 11 - UNCTAD to participate widely in fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

LDC IVUNCTAD will participate extensively in the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV), in keeping with its mandated responsibilities to promote trade and development in those countries.

Years of research, analysis and experience have led the Organization to emphasize three themes at the global conference to be held in Istanbul on 9-13 May.

  • Greater effort and funding should go into expanding the productive capacities of LDC economies - that is, their abilities to produce broader ranges of goods for sale and export, and goods of greater complexity and sophistication that yield higher profits and pay employees higher wages.

    Breadth and expanded sophistication in goods produced seems most likely to lead to sustained economic growth and to leave LDCs less vulnerable to economic shocks and to rapid changes in global prices for the commodities that many LDCs currently rely on for the bulk of their exports.

    Improving productive capacities also seems the best strategy for ending the boom-bust cycles that characterize LDC economies, as well as for creating jobs.

  • A new international development architecture (NIDA) is needed for LDCs, as outlined in the UNCTAD publication, The Least Developed Countries Report 2010, which serves as the substantive document for LDC-IV.

    The objectives of NIDA are to reverse the marginalization of LDCs in the global economy and assist them in their catching-up efforts, in particular by helping them to develop their productive capacities; supporting a pattern of accelerated economic growth to improve the general welfare and well-being of their populations; and helping those countries graduate from LDC status.

    A feature of the proposed architecture is that it expands the focus beyond aid and trade to include critical areas such as technology, commodities and climate change.

    It also includes reforms in global economic regimes in these areas, which directly affect development and poverty reduction in LDCs.

  • There should be a shift in domestic and international approaches away from finance-led globalization to development-led globalization.

    That is, development strategies for LDCs should consider economic growth a top priority, with the aim of raising living standards, creating jobs and making such progress economically and environmentally sustainable.

    Development-centred globalization: towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development will be the theme of the UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference in April 2012.

    UNCTAD activities at LDC-IV will range from special events on commodity dependence, LDC productive capacities and women´s role in trade, to participation by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD in a panel discussion on the use of information and communications technology to boost LDC economies.



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