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Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs (2011–2020)

Monitoring Deliverables, Tracking Progress – Analytical Perspectives

image of Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs (2011–2020)

Ambitious in nature, the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs (UN LDC IV) in 2011, sets out a development path for LDCs for the coming decade. Successful implementation of the IPoA requires identification of delivery tools for specific targets, provision of necessary financial and non-financial resources, and a strengthened monitoring mechanism. LDC IV Monitor, an independent partnership of eight interested organisations, aims to add value by enhancing transparency, accountability and efficiency of the official monitoring and review mechanism of the IPoA.

LDC IV Monitor’s first set of two reports, produced outside of the official intergovernmental process, provide credible, evidence-based and policy-oriented assessment of the delivery status of the promises contained in the IPoA. The Synthesis Report, derived from the critical analyses of the state of play concerning the IPoA, presents the broad messages and key recommendations. The volume on Analytical Perspectives addresses a wide spectrum of issues including articulation of a composite IPoA index, building of productive capacity, trade in goods and services, delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), flows of different forms of development finance, and consequences of climate change. The publications seek to contribute towards crafting national and international policies to support graduation of the LDCs through structural transformation of their economies.

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Harnessing Trade for Structural Transformation in LDCs

The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) lists two key goals in the priority area of trade: first, to increase least developed countries’ (LDCs) exports significantly with a view to doubling their share of world exports by 2020; and, second, to ‘make substantial efforts’ to conclude the Doha Round at the earliest point, with an outcome beneficial to LDCs. In pursuit of these goals, the IPoA lists a total of 16 actions to be pursued by LDCs and their development partners.1 In short, LDCs should mainstream trade into their national development strategies; improve competitiveness and diversify their production base and exports; and also facilitate trade through better institutional processes. Development partners, for their part, should support LDCs through Aid for Trade (AfT) and technical assistance to help them engage more effectively in the trade negotiations; improve their capacity to trade in goods and services; and implement their obligations in the areas of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT). The international community should also facilitate the transfer of technology and support the process of regional co-operation and integration in LDCs. Joint actions include addressing supply-side constraints and other impediments to LDCs’ trade, including trade-distorting measures and non-tariff barriers; and providing enhanced trade preferences through a comprehensive dutyfree and quota-free (DFQF) scheme, more favourable rules of origin and effective special and differential treatment, thus facilitating LDCs’ accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Annex 7.1 provides an overview of actions in the IPoA priority area of trade and comments on their implementation status.

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