Background

At its twentieth and twenty-first sessions, the Committee had considered means of supporting the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held from 9 to 13 May 2011 in Istanbul. The Committee looked at ways of mobilizing the participation of relevant organizations of the United Nations system, their intergovernmental bodies and substantive stakeholders. It discussed the launch of institutional and thematic initiatives, such as the Global Initiative and Partnership for Building Productive Capacity in the Least Developed Countries, and it considered the effective follow-up and monitoring mechanisms arising from the Conference.

At its spring 2011 session, CEB endorsed a statement of support to the Conference with the understanding that the statement could be followed by another that would build on the outcome of the Conference. The statement underscored the system’s commitment of support to the least developed countries and a new programme of action for the next 10 years. It focused on productive capacity and the role of the United Nations system as a whole in supporting it.

The representative from the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States,  Erdenebileg Sandagdorj, introduced the document before the Committee (CEB/2011/HLCP-XXII/CRP.5) noting that the Conference had resulted in the adoption of a bold Political Declaration and a comprehensive and action-oriented Istanbul Programme of Action. The task ahead was one of ensuring that the commitments contained in the Programme of Action were matched by actions. In this regard, his Office had engaged and consulted with other United Nations system and international organizations to maintain the momentum through a brainstorming meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group. The meeting produced a road map for the implementation of the Programme of Action to guide least developed countries and their development partners towards a path of coordinated, coherent and effective implementation of the Programme of Action. It spelled out activities that needed to be undertaken by all stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of the Programme of Action would be met.

In addition, Mr. Sandagdorj introduced a draft statement (CEB/2011/HLCPXXII/CRP.5/Add.1) that conveyed a strong commitment by the United Nations system to the successful  implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action, and underscored the urgency and importance of the new global partnership in support of development for least developed countries. The draft also affirmed the recognition by the United Nations system’s leaders of the key priority areas for action and their willingness to make a strong contribution to the implementation, monitoring and follow-up of the newly adopted Programme of Action by better targeting and synergizing their policy and programmatic support to least developed countries.

Discussion

In the ensuing discussion, members deliberated on the added value of a further statement by CEB at this juncture. Some members expressed that other forms of action by CEB could be explored; others noted that the use of existing mechanisms
to follow up on the mainstreaming of the Istanbul Programme of Action would be useful. In this regard, the use of the Inter-Agency Consultative Group, chaired by the Office of the High Representative, was highly recommended.

Action

The Committee agreed to consider the progress made by the United Nations system in mainstreaming the Istanbul Programme of Action at the five-year review mark, and also agreed to incorporate actionable elements of the draft statement in its report.