At UN Conference, An Emphasis on Donors and LDCs' Joint Responsibility to Boost Development Efforts

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the opening of the civil society forum of the Fourth Conference on Least Developed Countries. Photo by: Evan Schneider / UN

    Donors and recipient countries have a joint responsibility to advance economic and social development in some of the world’s poorest countries, officials said on the third day of the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Development Conference in Turkey.

    Ministers from both developed and developing countries emphasized the need for donors to meet their international aid commitments while also urging recipient governments to be more responsible for their own development and to better utilize the aid they receive.

    “This would translate into effective partnership that could translate into graduation certificates for the weakest and poorest of our global community,” Liberian Foreign Minister Toga Gayewea McIntosh said, as quoted by ABC Live.

    Chinese Vice Minister for Commerce Fu Ziying voiced a similar view. Governments of poor countries should boost their own development efforts while the international community should respect these countries’ priorities and aspirations, better appreciate the difficulties they are facing, and provide concrete solutions to their most-urgent needs, Ziying said.

    At the conference, representatives from the least developed countries outlined some of these priorities and aspirations: poverty reduction, job creation, infrastructure development and economic self-sufficiency. Several donors, meantime, pledged to maintain or increase their aid levels but also pushed for more accountability from aid recipients.

    The U.N. conference, which concludes Friday (May 13), aims to assess the progress of an action plan adopted by the international community in 2001 to advance development in 48 nations identified by the U.N. as the world’s least developed countries. Delegates are also developing a new program of action, which some officials said would include 27 priority actions.

    Discussions at the conference in the past three days have largely focused on the need to promote sustainable development in the world’s poorest countries, ways to address threats to LDC’s growth and the importance of private sector involvement in development efforts.

    >> UN Conference Welcomes Private Sector Involvement

    >> UN Conference: Rising Food Prices Threaten LDCs’ Growth

    >> In Turkey, World Leaders Tackle Program of Action for Least Developed Countries

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.