LDCs Need Genuine Market Access: UNESCAP
Thursday, 21 January 2010

LDCs need genuine access to the market of both developed and advanced developing countries to foster economic growth, a senior UN official said in Dhaka Wednesday.

Assistance for augmenting trade infrastructure and production capacities is also needed for LDCs, said UN undersecretary general Noeleen Heyzer.

She is also the executive secretary of UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Heyzer briefed the media on the outcomes of the High-Level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on the 2001-2010 Brussels Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries.

The three-day conference co-organised by UNESCAP and the Bangladesh government saw policymakers from the governments of LDCs, eminent persons and independent experts evaluate the progress of the implementation of the Brussels action plan.

The Brussels Programme of Action was adopted in 2001 along with agendas for the Asia Pacific region in the upcoming UN LDC Conference to be held in Turkey next year.

The top ESCAP official said the conference noted that the food-fuel and financial crisis and climate change exposed the acute vulnerabilities of LDCs to external shocks.

"This could derail their [LDCs'] development goals," Heyzer said.

On the progress of the Brussels Programme, the UN official said that it was an "unfinished agenda".

The conference also stressed assisting the LDCs with technology and finance to help them to adopt an environment-friendly, developed strategy for equitable growth and wholesome development.

"LDCs are at the frontline of climate change, so due priority should be given to them in the resources pledged in COP15 in Copenhagen," said Heyzer.

The conference agreed that LDCs need to be assisted for enabling them to benefit from the opportunities arising from trade, investment and financial flows.

Also, it observed, the LDCs could not make full use of the preferential arrangements due to lack of supply capabilities, poor infrastructure facilities and resources.

"The restrictive rules of the preferential arrangements have prevented the LDCs from developing the full potential," said Heyzer.

On the developed countries' role, she said commitments made in summits like G20 and G8 must be met expeditiously and monitored by the international community.

The Asia Pacific LDCs' conference also underlined the importance regional and sub-regional cooperation, according to Heyzer.

Source: bdnews24.com

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