Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-IV)
Date: 09-13 May 2011
Venue: Istanbul - Türkiye

The Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-IV) taking place in Istanbul on 9-13 May 2011 commenced under the theme of “Partnership against Poverty”. The LDC-IV will assess the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA), reaffirm the global commitment for LDCs and consequently adopt the next development action for the LDCs. The conference is expected to bring together nearly 50 Heads of State and Government, 10 vice-presidents, 94 ministers and chairmen of 47 international organizations in Istanbul.

The UN first recognised the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the late 1960s, as the most vulnerable group of the international community hence requiring special development attention. The International Development Strategy for the second United Nations Development Decade for the 1970s incorporated special measures in favour of the LDCs. In 1971, the UN identified 24 LDCs based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and adult literacy rate. Since then, 3 UN Conferences on the LDCs have taken place in the last three decades with specific Programmes of Action respectively; however, little substantial progress has been made in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication in the LDCs. Today, the number of LDCs has more than doubled to 48 – with 33 from Africa, 14 from the Asia-Pacific and 1 from Latin America and the Caribbean. These countries are struggling against chronical structural problems in their economy, development and human resources.

During the Conference in Istanbul, negotiators will be looking to put measures in place for building infrastructure to enable least developed countries to attain economic self-sufficiency, push back poverty and create decent jobs. Such steps would include continued progress on economic reform, governance and tapping domestic resources. The main components of the conference constitute the inter-governmental track, parliamentary track, international organisations track, civil society track and the private sector track.

The "South-South Development Roundtable: Building Productive Capacities of Least Developed Countries (LDC) through South-South, Triangular and Public-Private Partnership" will take place in Istanbul, Turkey on 11 May 2011. The participants of the special event are expected to put emphasis to the fact that LDCs can significantly advance through the use of South-South, triangular and public-private partnerships, as the South is increasingly home to many successful examples of innovative technologies and other sustainable solutions to development challenges faced by LDCs. Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, will make a presentation on the capacity building initiatives of SESRIC and its contributions to South-South Development as part of the United Nations LDC-IV Conference.