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World’s least developed countries call for more technical aid

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Ministers of the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) have adopted a declaration calling for more technical aid as well as strengthening the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to boost its research, technical-cooperation, and consensus-building work.

The declaration, adopted April 19, 2012 in Doha, Qatar at the ongoing UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference, also reaffirmed LDCs’ support for the concept – long advocated by UNCTAD – of the “developmental State.”

The declaration, noting that LDCs currently account for only 1% of international trade and that they attract foreign investment mostly to their extractive industries, says that “efforts to build the developmental State” are the “key to drive economic growth.”

According to a statement issued by UNCTAD, the document goes on to urge redoubled efforts by “trading and development partners, including developing countries that are in a position to do so” to support the LDCs in their efforts to expand, diversify, and fortify their economies and in their efforts to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UN Agency said the declaration requested that such assistance “should go beyond official development assistance (ODA) to include, in a holistic manner, transfer of technology and know-how as well as building technological capacities and innovation in our countries.”

It also urged industrialized countries to meet internationally established targets for ODA.

The LDC declaration further calls on donor countries to “support the commodity sectors of our countries, including through commodity diversification and value addition,” to enable LDCs “greater participation in global value chains on an equitable basis as a way to promote sustainable market-driven growth.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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