Asia-Pacific Regional High-level Policy Dialogue on the Istanbul Programme of Action attended by UNCTAD

09 March 2015

UNCTAD Director served as resource High-level Policy Dialogue on the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the decade 2011-2020, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 4-6 March 2015.

The Director of UNCTAD's Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes, Mr Taffere Tesfachew, participated on behalf of the UNCTAD Secretary-General in the High-level dialogue, including moderating a session on "Productive Capacity Development" and making substantive and technical presentation on "Trade and Connectivity".

The High-level dialogue adopted an outcome document which will be submitted to the seventy-first session of the Asia Pacific Commission with the request for adoption as a regional input to the global mid-term review of the Istanbul Programme of Action ( IPoA), to be held in 2016.

The outcome document includes key issues of direct relevance to UNCTAD and its work on LDCs including building productive capacity, trade, commodities, graduation, mobilizing resources for development, among others.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia -Pacific (UN-ESCAP), in collaboration with the Royal Government of Cambodia, organized the High-Level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCS) for the Decade 2011-2020. It was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia in charge of economic and social development.

Policy makers and experts from the Asia-Pacific LDCs and development partners including the United Nations system organizations reviewed and exchanged experiences and best practices on progress made in the implementation of the IPoA in the region, challenges encountered and the way forward.

Key questions addressed during the dialogue include:

  • How has the Asia-Pacific region progressed towards the implementation of the IPoA?

  • What are the lessons learnt after nearly five years of IPoA implementation?

  • What policies and strategies are required to accelerate further implementation of actions and commitments agreed in the IPoA including graduation?

  • How can domestic and external resources mobilized in support of LDCs?

  • What is the role of regional cooperation in advancing the trade and development cause of LDCs?

The dialogue split into various sessions and specifically addressed issues such as productive capacity development in LDCs, improving agricultural productivity and rural development, trade and connectivity, human and social development and mobilizing financial resources for socio-economic development.

The High-level dialogue is part of the preparations for the global Mid-term Review of the IPoA that is scheduled to be conducted in June 2016 pursuant to the decision of the fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs, which adopted the IPoA in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2011.