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UNCTAD Proposes Agenda for Action at LDC IV

22 February 2011: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a policy brief proposing a broad agenda for action for the fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC IV), to be held from 9-13 May 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The brief makes proposals in five areas: financing for development; the developmental role of trade; international commodity policy; developing technological capabilities; and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

On financing, the brief calls for: increasing resources for developing productive capacities, especially infrastructure and skills; promoting country ownership and creating policy space to mobilize and direct resources; and reforming the International Monetary Fund (IMF) allocation mechanism and an additional allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs).

On enhancing the developmental role of trade, the brief prioritizes conclusion of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Round. This should be complemented by a set of  "early harvest" measures, such as implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access and preferential and more favorable treatment of LDC services and services providers.

On international commodity policy, the brief urges reducing commodity price volatility to reduce adverse impacts, such as a new food crises. Suggested measures include: a global countercyclical facility providing aid at times of commodity price shocks; innovative commodity price stabilization schemes; and taxation measures to reduce commodity speculation.

Measures to develop technological capabilities should focus on reforming the international property rights (IPR) regime to become friendlier toward development, the brief says. Other measures include: supporting the emergence of the learning-oriented development state, regional technology sharing consortia, an LDC technology license bank, and a multi-donor trust fund for financing enterprise innovation.

On measures to create an appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation architecture, the brief urges provision of financial resources for reorienting LDC economies towards development paths that are more climate-resilient and ecologically sustainable. In addition, access to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) should be enhanced to enable LDCs to tap into renewable energy technology and finance. [Publication: UNCTAD Policy Brief on UN LDC IV Conference]