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UNGA Holds Debate on LDC Financing

11 March 2011: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) held a day-long debate on 11 March 2011, in New York, US, on investment and financing for least developed countries (LDCs), with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighting that those countries need more and better targeted support from the outside in order to build their manufacturing and services sectors, and to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Ban called for the transfer of appropriate technologies and investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as in the ecosystem services underpinning agriculture. He added that his Panel on Global Sustainability was looking at all those areas in preparation for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio 2012). He further underscored the need to "connect the dots between poverty, climate change, energy, food and water." Joseph Deiss ( Switzerland), President of the UNGA, noted that LDCs had suffered disproportionately from the effects of climate change and were at risk of being further harmed by the current spike in oil prices.

Turkey, speaking for the host country of the Fourth UN Conference on LDCs, noted that the structural challenges of LDCs — dependence on commodities and external resources as well as the lack of productive capacities — were further aggravated by environmental degradation, climate change and disruptive weather patterns. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal and Chair of the Group of LDCs, stressed that LDCs were forced to spend excessively on addressing climate change issues, such as growing levels of desertification and drought, as well as natural disasters.

Axel van Trotsenburg, Vice-President of the World Bank, outlined the World Bank's funding, noting significant funding for investment in climate reform and financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. He stated that climate change would require additional resources, noting that there were climate investment funds that heavily leveraged available resources.

The UNGA informal thematic debate was held in preparation for the Fourth UN Conference on LDCs, scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9-13 May 2011. [UN Press Release] [Meeting Transcript]