9 July 2007 The world’s poorest countries have benefited the least from globalization and yet suffered the most from the phenomenon’s downsides, the General Assembly President said today at the opening of a conference convened to help those States make lasting economic gains.
Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa told the ministerial conference of the world’s 50 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), held in Istanbul, that globalization has had an extremely uneven impact on the lives of the world’s people.
“The paradox is evident when some in the world are waiting in line to buy new consumer technologies at a cost almost equal to the annual per capita income of hundreds of millions of people,” she said.
“Mahatma Gandhi once said that in poor places, people see God in a piece of bread. This still holds true after many decades. LDCs have found themselves in an unfortunate situation. They have benefited least from globalization, and have been affected most by its negative impact.”
Sheikha Haya, who opened the conference along with Abdullah Gul, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, stressed that the forces of globalization will continue to shape the world for decades.
Mr. Gul announced that a $20 million fund has been set up to support development projects in the LDCs, the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The General Assembly President, who has already addressed the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Global Compact meeting in Geneva during this trip, heads next to Tunisia for a bilateral visit with leaders of the North African country.