Fourth U.N. Conference On The Least Developed Countries Opens In Istanbul

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday in Istanbul opened the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) “to discuss a new 10-year aid plan to help lift nations out of poverty,” Agence France-Presse reports (5/9).

“The priority for the new programme of action is to build strong economies that can withstand external shocks,” Ban said, adding, “It means guaranteeing space for civil society and the private sector to operate. It means expanding the provision of essential services – education, health, infrastructure and social safety nets, especially for nutrition security,” according to the Walta Information Center.

“To achieve this you will need the engagement of a wide range of partners, traditional donors, emerging economies and the world of business,” Ban said, urging leaders of the 48 LDCs “not to allow the new atmosphere of global austerity to undermine progress,” the news service writes (5/9).

The five-day summit “will be considering a plan of action for LDCs with priorities including access to technology, the promotion of agriculture to strengthen food security, good governance, and adapting to climate change and securing a fair deal at the U.N. climate conference” next month, Inter Press Service notes (Ngozo, 5/8).

Ahead of the LDC conference, Ban was presented with the Women’s Leadership Award “in recognition of his efforts to promote gender equality” at the Global Summit of Women in Istanbul, the U.N. News Centre reports. Ban is the first man to receive the award in its 21-year history.

“I am asking world leaders, and I am asking business leaders, and I am asking women leaders to work together to achieve that goal where everybody, men and women, without any fear of violence, without any fear of discrimination can work in harmony and in dignity as human beings,” Ban said (5/7).

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