The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are currently suffering from the decrease in demand for goods, reduction in export revenues and the fall in the prices as a result of the economic vulnerability and uncertainty triggered by the global economic crisis.
As an emerging donor country, Turkey has proved to be one of the leading actors of the international community by increasing its assistance to the LDCs. In line with the growing interest and determination of Turkey towards the global issues and the LDCs, Turkey continues to extend its support to the technical assistance projects carried by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) through Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TICA), in addition to Official Development Assistance (ODA) and private sector investments to LDCs.
In this regard, Turkey has also hosted the last Ministerial Conference on Making Globalization Work for the LDCs, in Istanbul, on 9-10 July 2007. In the Conference, Turkey has pledged to contribute 1 million US Dollars to the Enhanced Integrated Framework Fund established to help the LDCs to enhance their trade capacity and promote the inclusion of trade issues in their national development strategies. From that time on, the support of Turkey to the LDCs has been maintained with an increasing pace. Moreover, High-level Workshop for African Least Developed Countries has been organized in Izmir, on 4-5 March 2008 and High-level Workshop for Asian, Caribbean and Pacific LDCs on New Development Partnership has been organized in Ankara, on 4-5 December 2008, with the cooperation of UNCTAD.
In the UN General Assembly held on 1 December 2009, it has been decided that the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) would be held in Turkey.
The Conference will be held in Istanbul, on 9-13 May 2011. High level participation of approximately 10.000 people consisting Heads of States and Governments, parliamentarians, NGOs and the representatives of the private sector of the LDCs and the UN Member States is expected.
The UN Planning Mission has paid 3 visits to Istanbul and Ankara in order to review the logistics and administrative arrangements of the Conference. The last visit has taken place on 8-16 February 2011. “Framework Agreement between the United Nations and Turkey on Arrangements regarding Privileges and Immunities and Certain Other Matters concerning United Nations Conferences and Meetings held in Turkey” was signed in New York, on 24 February 2011.
At the end of the Conference, “Istanbul Programme of Action”, which will determine the global development perspective towards the LDCs for 2011-2020 and include principles and recommendations for the improvement of social and economic state of the LDCs, will be adopted.