The fourth U.N. conference on the world’s poorest countries met in Istanbul from May 9 to 13 and adopted a plan of action at its end stressing the importance of foreign investment and the private sector in lifting millions from poverty. Notable was an emphasis on sustainable agriculture as a way out of poverty and toward food security for these countries.
The program foresees halving the number of least developed countries (LDCs) to 24 during the next decade through a significant rise in aid, favorable market access for all LDCs and building up their productive capacity.
The emphasis on productive capacity – energy, infrastructure and agriculture -- marked the most significant difference from the last LDC action plan formed in Brussels in 2008 which concentrated on health, education and other social areas.
“The stress on productive capacity is favored by LDCs as a means to modernize and diversify economies, create jobs and engage sustainable means to eventually eradicate poverty," said Cheick Sidi Diarra, U.N. undersecretary general and representative for the LDCs.