New Delhi, Feb 19 (ANI): The conference on Least Developed Countries organised here has underlined the need for stronger international commitment at highest political level to implement the agenda of Istanbul conference to be held in May.
The conference was addressed by Foreign Ministers of 48 countries who felt that South- South cooperation will continue to play a meaningful and a larger role in strengthening international support measures for the LDCs.
India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said: "Our common aspiration and desire on the way forward for the Istanbul Programme of Action, have been captured in the Delhi declaration. The document was negotiated and finalised by our delegations in New York.We hope that this declaration would be a valuable guide in our preparations for the fourth UN-LDC (United Nations-Least Developed Countries) conference and contribute to the blueprint for meeting the developmental needs of the LDCs in the coming decade," she added.
The Declaration issued at the conclusion of the conference said: "We underline that addressing extreme poverty, building productive capacity through structural transformation, spurring economic growth, enhancing participation in international trade and building resilience against vulnerabilities are key development challenges of the LDCs," it added.
The declaration further acknowledged the need to reinvigorate the United Nations development system in supporting and promoting South-South cooperation, and to this effect urge the United Nations funds, programs and specialized agencies to take concrete measures to mainstream support for South-South and triangular cooperation to help developing countries, at their request, to develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation in order to achieve their national development goals and internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
Demanding an early conclusion of the Doha Round with a development-based outcome to allow meaningful integration of the LDCs in the multilateral trading network, the declaration expressed deep concern at the debt situation of several LDCs and strongly appealed for the creation of a debt sustainability framework for LDCs to address their systemic vulnerabilities and to build resilience in their economies.
Citing the success of the India- Africa E-Network, mobile telephony, mobile-banking and renewable energy programs in LDCs, the declaration appreciated that technological leapfrogging has brought immense socio-economic gains and also opened vast opportunities for addressing developmental challenges in LDCs.
The Ministers and Representatives of LDCs and other participants at the Conference welcomed and thanked the Government of India for announcing new initiatives in support of the development needs of LDCs comprising five additional slots annually under the Indian Economic and Technical Cooperation (ITEC) Program to each LDC; five million dollars over the next five years for follow-up activities of the Istanbul Program of Action; and a Line of Credit of 500 million dollars over the next five years to be used specifically for projects and programmes of Least Developed Countries.
The Ministers and Representatives of LDCs thanked the Government of India for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for hosting the India-LDC Ministerial Conference and for India's continued commitment and support to the cause of the LDCs. (ANI)