Comprehensive programmes of action for LDCs were adopted in four successive United Nations Conferences on the Least Developed Countries, the most recent being the Istanbul Programme of Action for the decade 2011-2020.
- The Substantial New Programme of Action for the 1980s for the Least Developed Countries (SNPA) was adopted in 1981 by the first United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Its aim was to transform the LDC economies and enable them to provide minimum standards of nutrition, health, housing and education as well as job opportunities to their citizens, particularly to the rural and urban poor.
- Recognizing that during the 1980s the situation of the LDCs had worsened, the Paris Programme of Action of the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s was adopted at the Second United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in 1990. Priority areas were macroeconomic policy; human resources development; reversing the trend towards environmental degradation and reinforcing action to address disasters; rural development and food production; and the development of a diversified productive sector.
- The Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 was adopted shortly after the Millennium Declaration and had an overarching goal of substantially reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger in the LDCs and to promote sustainable development. Additional priorities included developing human and institutional resources; removing supply-side constraints and enhancing productive capacity; accelerating growth; and expanding the participation of LDCs in world trade, global, financial and investment flows,
- The Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 was adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9-13 May 2011. Its priority areas for action are productive capacity; agriculture, food security and rural development; trade; commodities; human and social development; multiple crises and other emerging challenges; mobilizing financial resources for development and capacity-building; and good governance at all levels.
Through Resolution 73/242, on the Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the United Nations General Assembly convened the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, to take place in 2021. More information here.