(Geneva, 28 November 2011)

Thank you Mr. President.

1. At the outset allow me to thank the secretariat for its presentation, as well as for the preparations for this meeting.

2. At the same time allow me to underscore the importance of this session of the Board. This session affords us the opportunity to put a special focus on the needs and priorities of LDCs. It is also an important opportunity for consensus building including on how to help accelerate the development of the most vulnerable, and most in need.

3. The lateness in which the secretariat completed and circulated the 2011 LDC report is therefore of great concern and disappointment for the Group of 77 and China. The delay the report's release has inhibited our ability to reflect on it fully, and to examine it in depth with our capitals. The delay has therefore somewhat diminished the potential of this meeting, and we hope that this will not happen again.

Mr. President.

4. Allow me to focus on a few points which were of particular interest for the Group.

5. First, we appreciate the report's discussion on the opportunities that present themselves for LDCs in greater South-South cooperation. This is an important discussion we look forward to and indeed, we are very cognizant of the benefits inherent in strengthened South-South cooperation. But we should also be clear that South-South cooperation is no panacea.

6. Indeed, given the adverse impact of the global economic and financial crisis on developing countries, it is increasingly important to be clear, and emphasize that South-South cooperation is but complementary to North-South cooperation. We therefore encourage UNCTAD to redouble its efforts to focus on this complementarity. It would be all to easy to lose sight of this dimension if there is an excessive focus on the South-South dimension.

7. Second, we appreciate the discussion in the report on the role of the State. The developmental state has been an important area of focus for developing countries, and this is especially true for LDCs where the facilitating role of the state is of special importance particularly in putting in place the necessary infrastructure, and in building productive capacities.

8. We once again emphasize the importance of strengthened work on better understanding the role of the State, and expanding its horizons to allow it to play its important role as an enabler of the business sector, and ultimately of national development. It is only the state that can harness the efforts of all stakeholders in development towards the goal of national development. This takes on added significance in light of our discussions on inclusive development as we work towards UNCTAD XIII.

9. Finally, we underscore the importance of a holistic approach to development enabled by the developmental state, which will put in place a firm foundation for the continued development of LDCs, with a view towards their speedy graduation. This central objective can only be realized if there are in place clear mechanisms and incentives for LDCs to graduate towards the rank of middle income countries.

10. The exploration, examination and better understanding of the unique needs and circumstances of middle income countries can therefore also serve the needs of LDCs by making clear the positive implications of their graduation, and as reassurances that their needs and priorities will continue to be addressed after graduation.

Mr. President.

11. In closing the Group would like to once again emphasize the importance of this session. The discussions here are meant to put a special focus and emphasis on LDCs and the LDC report. The lateness of the documentation detracted from this objective. The delay also made it more difficult for us to reflect ahead of time on the nature of the agreed conclusions which would emanate from our deliberations.

12. I hope that the prevailing positive spirit and climate will allow us to arrive at conclusions which will be useful in enhancing the climate in the intergovernmental machinery, as well as in giving guidance to the UNCTADXIII prepcom inasmuch as LDCs are concerned.

Thank you Mr. President.