Kunal Sen at the high-level LDC regional review meeting

UNU-WIDER director Kunal Sen has been invited to contribute as a panelist to the High-level Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting on the Istanbul Programme of Action in Preparation for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-5). The regional review meeting will take place 30 August - 2 September 2021, in Geneva and virtually.

Kunal Sen will join the panel in the session 1, the Ministerial dialogue on lessons learned in the implementation of the IPoA - challenges encountered and the way forward, together with Dame Meg Taylor, former Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
The objective of the Asia-Pacific Regional Review is to undertake a comprehensive appraisal of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action in Asia-Pacific LDCs, share best practices and lessons learned and identify obstacles and constraints encountered.

The meeting will identify effective international and domestic policies as well as new and emerging challenges and opportunities and the means to address them. The meeting is further expected to put forward specific recommendations on strategies and policy measures at the national, regional and global levels to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by the Asia-Pacific LDCs. 

The Asia-Pacific Regional Review is important as 12 out of 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are located in the region. They are making considerable progress in their socio-economic development, particularly in reducing income poverty and investing in human resources and infrastructure, enabling most of the countries of this region to fulfill the criteria for graduation. 

The meeting is organized by The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Government of Bangladesh.

UNU-WIDER is organizing later this year, together with UN-OHRLLS and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the LDC Future Forum to bring together world-renowned academics, high level representatives from LDCs and development partners to solicit new thinking on the challenges and make policy recommendations for LDCs for the next decade and for LDC-5.

Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action

The Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 was adopted, along with the Istanbul Declaration, by the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 9-13 May 2011. The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) charts out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs for the next decade with a strong focus on developing their productive capacities.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are low-income countries that face severe structural impediments to sustainable development. These countries are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets. To help the LDCs address these specific challenges, the United Nations convenes a dedicated conference every ten years. The Fifth LDC Conference (LDC5) will be held in January 2022. The programme of action will be updated in the conference.