Istanbul plan for LDCs to graduate gaining momentum says UN High Representative

03 May 2013

imageUnited Nations Under-Secretary General, High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs, H.E. Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya addressing the Seminar. Photo: John Narayan Parajuli, UNDP Nepal

Kathmandu—United Nations Under-Secretary General, High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs, Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya has said that the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA) adopted by 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in May 2011 has been gaining momentum.  IPOA sets an ambitious target of creating enabling environment for fifty percent of LDCs to graduate into developing countries by 2020.

Istanbul Programme represents a strong commitment of all UN member states, including LDCs and donors, said Mr. Acharya addressing a Seminar on Nepal’s Efforts to Implement Istanbul Programme of Action in Kathmandu on Friday.

He said that his office has been working with UN agencies, traditional donors, funds and foundations to create linkages to make concerted effort to streamline international assistance towards supporting Istanbul Programme and eventually lifting countries out of LDCs status.

Nepal as the Chair of LDCs was at the vanguard of Istanbul Programme, so it is imperative that it sets example with its effective implementation, Mr. Acharya said, adding that he was delighted to see that the Istanbul plan was being incorporated into Nepal’s national plans. He said that Nepal was on a sustainable development trajectory but that it needed a graduation framework to streamline national efforts.

Nepal is well placed to expedite its development process as it is located in a neighborhood of vibrant economies, he said.

He urged LDCs to set voluntary target for graduation.

Delivering a keynote speech, Nepal’s Minister for Home and Foreign Affairs Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire called for increased international assistance to mainstream Istanbul plan. The target of getting fifty percent of LDCs to graduate by 2020 is achievable if internal and external environment is created, he said.

“Without robust support structure, rapid graduation is difficult,” Mr. Ghimre said. UN Country Team in Nepal can help to mainstream the priority areas of Istanbul Programme to facilitate its implementation, he said.

National Planning Commission’s Member Secretary Mr. Yuba Raj Bhusal recounted Nepal’s success in reducing poverty and projected that it will further go down to 18 percent by 2016.

There was general consensus that Nepal needs to expedite the process of increasing gross national income to meet the graduation criteria.

UN Resident Coordinator, a.i., Mr. Terrence D Jones said that a mix of right policies and concerted investment can help Nepal make steady progress on all criteria set for graduation.