Least developed countries continue to face significant obstacles in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of its commitment to the decade of action to deliver the sustainable development goals and to build back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations system must amplify its support to vulnerable countries and peoples.
As mandated by the General Assembly (most recently in resolution 75/227), the Chief Executives Board (CEB) has, since 2013, supported the coordination of and follow-up to the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011–2020 (IPoA) on a system-wide basis, through regular reporting to the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP). Similarly, CEB retains on its agenda the issue of investment promotion regimes for the least developed countries, in accordance with the Political Declaration of the Comprehensive High-level Midterm Review of the Implementation of the IPoA (see General Assembly resolutions 70/294, para. 69, and 75/227, para. 23).
At recent sessions, the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) has received progress reports prepared by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) highlighting, inter alia:
- the efforts of the inter-agency task force (IATF) on LDC graduation support to provide strengthened and coordinated United Nations system-wide support to the countries graduating from the least developed countries category,
- preparations for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) to be held in 2022,
- activities of the Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATC) on investment promotion for the least developed countries, and
- progress achieved to date by the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries.
Report on United Nations Support to LDCS (2021)
In 2021, UN-OHRLLS produced a report entitled United Nations support to the Least Developed Countries to facilitate a better understanding of the work of the UN system across the LDCs in the lead up to LDC5. The report will inform preparatory discussions as well as the high-level event to be convened at the Conference by the Secretary-General. In analyzing best practices across the IPoA priority areas, the report also informs HLCP’s efforts to support coordination and follow-up of the IPoA implementation on a system-wide basis, as requested by the General Assembly.
To prepare the report, UN-OHRLLS surveyed the UN system organizations to collect information on best practices in supporting the LDCs. The survey complements and seeks to update information gathered for the UN-OHRLLS Mainstreaming Toolkit that has been prepared ahead of the Comprehensive High-Level Midterm Review of the IPoA in 2016, and submitted to the HLCP (see below).
Toolkit for mainstreaming the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (2016)
To contribute to the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs and to further strengthen UN system coordination, UN-OHRLLS, in consultation with the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) on least developed countries, prepared a toolkit for mainstreaming the Istanbul Programme of Action into the work programmes of the United Nations system organizations, providing a set of guidelines and best practices. At its thirty-first session in March 2016, HLCP reviewed and provided guidance on the toolkit in the context of the regular progress reporting on the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action. The toolkit was officially launched at a high-level United Nations system event held in May 2016 during the Comprehensive High-level Midterm Review of the Implementation of the IPoA.