10 May 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Must Act as ‘Effective Team’, with Common Vision in Helping


Poorest Countries Achieve Development Goals, Says Secretary-General


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at a special event on the United Nations Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in Istanbul, 9 May:

Three years ago, at the twelfth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in Accra, I launched the Chief Executives Board inter-agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity.

Today, I am very pleased to recognize the progress the Cluster has achieved.

First, at the field level, there are an increasing number of joint programmes, in almost 30 countries, where duplications and overlaps among agencies have been replaced by complementary and coherent action.

Furthermore, the alignment of United Nations assistance with countries’ development priorities is steadily improving, thanks to inter-agency coordination that is helping to identify needs and increase dialogue with national stakeholders.

Second, the Cluster is moving towards a common vision on the role of productive capacity and trade.

The LDCs, among others, have long advocated for stronger attention to be given to the development of their productive sector.

The LDCs face pervasive structural weaknesses.  They require strategic national and international efforts that target economic infrastructure, access to energy and technology, the diversification of industrial sectors, the creation of decent jobs, the promotion of investment and measures that will support the effective participation of LDCs in the international trading system.

The UN system can provide useful, impartial and effective assistance in all these areas.

The joint concept note presented here sets the stage not only for coordinated operations, but also for coherent policies among all agencies of the Cluster, which have different mandates and often differing client bases.

The Cluster demonstrates that a new way of thinking and operating is possible for the United Nations, in a field where donor support is often sectoral and fragmented.

It is our collective duty to go further and more quickly in this direction.

As we help Member States in their efforts to achieve development goals, the United Nations must act as an effective team.

I am confident that Member States, particularly the LDCs, will continue to support this common vision.

This Cluster still has much work to do.

We all look forward to seeing the results of your endeavours.

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For information media • not an official record