Poorest countries need coordinated aid to meet Millennium Goals – UN envoy

2 June 2005 – The world’s poorest and least developed countries need concerted assistance to overcome their socio-economic challenges and reach agreed internationally agreed development by 2015, the United Nations advocate for those countries said.

“Slow economic growth, poor trade performance, continuing environmental degradation, debilitating HIV/AIDS pandemic, discouraging foreign direct investment and unmet ODA (overseas development assistance) commitments, compounded by a host of new challenges in a globalizing world make the development tasks of these countries extremely difficult,” UN Under-Secretary-General Anwarul K. Chowdhury told a symposium on the global development agenda at UN Headquarters yesterday.

Mr. Chowdhury is the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), some of which overlap.

Target number 8 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focuses on the need for global partnerships, he said. “As the UN advocate for these weakest segments of the humanity, I urge again that the international community should come forward in supporting the development efforts of these countries in a meaningful way to make the objective of the global partnership a reality.”

When the General Assembly established the LDC category, it comprised 25 countries, but that number had doubled, with 34 in Africa and most of the other 16 in the Asia-Pacific region, and their population was expected to rise by 200 million from 740 million by 2015, he said.

“These countries are the poorest amongst the poor, the weakest segment of the international community. They are too often torn apart by devastating conflicts, civil strife or exposed to natural disasters,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

“The combination of extreme poverty, population pressures and environmental degradation is a powerful destabilizing factor, driving both rural exodus and international migration that is expected to increase in both volume and impact,” he added.

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