Emily Jones at Fourth UN Conference on LDCs

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Emily Jones (Project Associate on Trade) represented GEG at the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Istanbul in May 2011. The Conference brought together 10,000 delegates including heads of state, diplomats, business executives and civil society to forge a ten-year ‘Programme of Action’ to support Least Developed Countries. Jones presented a paper on the panel ‘From Istanbul to 2020: A Vision for LDCs’.

LDCs were promised much by the international community in the last ten-year Brussels Programme of Action, signed in 2001. However, Emily Jones argued that the Programme had only had a minimal impact the economic development of LDCs. Although the commitments made were laudable, many were only partially implemented and the benefits of others were eroded by the ‘small print’. Recent record levels of growth in LDCs present a welcome opportunity for development but so far they have failed to generate employment or improve productivity, and have only led to modest improvements in poverty and human development. Moreover, LDCs are now more vulnerable to international economic shocks. A priority for the new Programme of Action is to raise the profile and voice of LDCs on the world stage including through strengthening their capacity for collective action, greater advocacy around their development needs, improved representation in major decision-making fora, and greater control over implementation.