Deputy Secretary-General: Statements
New York, 29 September 2008 - Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Least Developed countriesMr. Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to join you today at this Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Least developed Countries dedicated to the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action. Guided by the principles set out in the Millennium Declaration, the Brussels Programme is critical to achieving the MDGs in the world's most vulnerable countries.
The Programme sets out a clear framework for partnership based on mutual commitments made by the LDCs and their development partners.
Remarkable achievements have been made since the adoption of the Brussels Programme. Yet, the lives of many courageous women, men and children continue to be marked by their daily struggle to access their basic needs.
Your gathering today takes place almost back to back with two important high-level meetings on Africa's Development needs and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were held on 22 and 25 September, respectively.
Both events offered timely opportunities to instill new momentum in the global efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs. This is therefore an ideal moment to focus attention on furthering the implementation of the Brussels Programme.
With only two years left in the implementation of the Programme, it is imperative to build on the successes achieved so far, and address key constraints and pitfalls.
The critical task to strengthen the human, institutional and productive capacities of the least developed countries faces renewed challenges. Soaring food prices are adding to current levels of food insecurity, especially for those LDCs that are net food importers. The situation is compounded by the record prices of oil for the majority of LDCs, which are oil importers.
The group of least developed countries, especially small island LDCs and low lying coastal states, is also hardest hit by the adverse effects of climate change. These new challenges demand new and urgent responses.
As you take up these themes in your discussion today, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the leadership and initiative you displayed on the critical issue of food security when you last met during the UNCTAD XII Conference in Accra.
The call you made on behalf of the LDCs for establishing a high-level Task Force to address the global food crisis did not go unheeded. The Comprehensive Framework for Action that was produced by the Secretary General's Task Force on the Global Food Crisis provides concrete measures to addressing both the immediate needs of vulnerable populations, and identifying mechanisms to strengthen resilience, food security and nutrition in a systematic way.
With only two years left in the implementation of the Brussels Programme, the 63rd session of the General Assembly will be deliberating on convening the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, and on the modalities for its preparations.
An inclusive and participatory preparatory process will critically contribute to our collective capacity to deliver on the Brussels Commitments and the MDGs.
We have an obligation to keep our promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in all countries, especially in the world's least developed countries. I believe the positive outcomes of the High-level events of last week give us reason to hope for a more effective global partnership for development cooperation.
I am confident your deliberations will help ensure that we effectively deliver on these promises as we look ahead and prepare to review the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha.
Statements on 29 September 2008