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Pre-Conference LDC event - 10 March 2011 - United Nations Headquarters

<b>Pre-Conference LDC event</b> - 10 March 2011 - United Nations Headquarters
  • © UNESCO/Lily Valtchanova
  • UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova addressing a pre-conference event on “Promoting Universal Access to Essential Services in Least Developed Countries” with UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative Cheick Sidi Diarra

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, opened the pre-conference LDC event with Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and Secretary-General of UN LDC IV on “Promoting Universal Access to Essential Services in LDCs” ,on 10 March 2011, at the United Nations in New York.

The pre-conference event deliberated four themes:

  • Promoting universal access to Education in LDCs
  • Promoting universal access to Energy in LDCs
  • Promoting universal access to Health in LDCs
  • Promoting universal access to Water & Sanitation in LDCs

LDC Ministers attended the meeting and contributed to the discussions by sharing their experiences in the four thematic areas. Representatives from UNESCO, UNIDO, UNICEF and UNDESA also participated in the event.

The event reaffirmed the need to develop policies that link economic and social considerations. Evidence shows the development of human capacities in LDCs is affected by such factors as low school enrollment and low health, nutrition and sanitation. It also underscored the need for strong political will and commitment in promoting universal access to essential services in LDCs.

While the advantages of public and private sector partnerships was recognized as a vital ingredient for enhancing access to essential services in LDCs, leadership from national governments must also be enhanced. Better coordination is needed among government authorities, as well as carefully planned and adopted policy and regulatory frameworks. The need to adopt incentives that would attract entrepreneurs to invest in providing essential services was also highlighted.

Attendees also discussed the need to decentralize services to address the disparities that have emerged between rural and urban dwellers. Participants agreed that the new programme of action for LDCs for the next decade should address the need to promote access to essential services, particularly as these services contribute to improving the human condition of people living in the LDCs.

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