The United Nations system attaches highest importance to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 9-13 May 2011. It is deeply engaged in supporting Member States to achieve an ambitious and strong outcome with concrete global partnership deliverables and commitments that will positively affect the lives of 880 million people in 48 countries. As part of its efforts to focus its initiatives on developing countries, including the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States, CEB has issued a statement of support to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (see annex).

The statement highlights the resolve of executive heads to deepen the effectiveness of and synergies among their organization’s activities, as they continue to give priority to the special needs of the least developed countries. It also stresses the continued support of CEB to the development priorities of the least developed countries through targeted programmes and dedicated resources, particularly stepping up system-wide efforts to further enhance productive capacities in the least developed countries. Following the conference, CEB will forge an effective system-wide response in support of the Outcome of the Conference, including how the United Nations system can most effectively contribute to ensuring its full implementation, monitoring and follow-up at the national, regional and global levels.

To that end, the High-level Committee on Programmes has collected information from the United Nations system organizations on their existing work in supporting productive capacities in the least developed countries, with a view to taking into account the outcome of the Conference and tailoring and sharpening ongoing work. The information collected has established linkages between other priority policy areas identified by the least developed countries, such as food and agriculture, and the specific comparative advantages, specializations, capacities and programmes of United Nations system organizations. The compilation provided a good basis for CEB to support the priorities identified in the Outcome of the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries 2000-2010. CEB will continue to look at ways to enhance the considerable work that is already being done by the United Nations system to support productive capacity-building in the least developed countries and it will seek to further enhance, prioritize and tailor that work, taking into account the outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries and further guidance from Member States.