Statement delivery by H.E. Ambassador Shahbaz (Pakistan) Chairman of the Group of 77 Vienna Chapter to the LDCs Ministerial Conference, 19-20 November 2008 - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for the Group of 77 and China to see the second edition of the LDCs Ministerial Conference taking place, today, here in Siem Reap Cambodia. While extending our appreciation to the Kingdom of Cambodia for their kind gesture in hosting this Conference, the Group would like also to felicitate UNIDO, and particularly its Director-General, for reviving this initiative after about a decade and following it up with great enthusiasm. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to assure the Conference of the full support of the Group towards its aims and objectives.

The Group of 77 and China believes that unevenness of the global development landscape is the root cause of many challenges of this day and age. The share of the LDCs in global economic activity and resulting benefits has not been very encouraging. Now that the world faces a global financial crisis, the LDCs may have to face even greater difficulties. The Group believes that in today's globalized world the human race has a common future, the betterment of which is our common liability. With one quarter of the number of states on the globe being classified as Least Developed Countries, the rest of the three quarters cannot hope to successfully tread the path of progress and prosperity in the long run.

Almost all of the LDCs form part of the Group of 77. Thus the close attachment and association of the G77 with the process and its keen interest in its success is but natural. During the last LDCs Ministerial Conference, hosted by UNIDO in Vienna on 29-30 November 2007, my predecessor, Ambassador Sayed Galal Eldin Elsayed ELAMIN of Sudan, the then Chairman of the Group of 77 had assured the Conference in his welcoming statement that the Group would continue to mobilize additional efforts with the international community to attain better provisions for aid and market access for the LDCs.

I am happy to report that, with the active support and contribution of the G77, the 12th session of the UNIDO General Conference (GC), which was held in Vienna (3-7 December 2007) immediately after the LDCs Ministerial Conference, adopted a resolution (GC.12/Res.2) to which the "Vienna Ministerial Declaration of the Least Developed Countries" was added as an annexure. The resolution, inter alia, invites the Director-General of UNIDO to take into account the special needs of t he LDCs in the implementation of UNIDO's medium-term programme framework.

I may also mention that earlier this month, the UNIDO Secretariat in Vienna arranged a briefing for the Group of 77 about this Conference. The Group expressed its satisfaction at UNIDO's undertaking Pilot Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) programmes in eight (8) countries. While conveying its appreciation at the holding of today's Conference, the Group underlined the need for, inter alia (a) follow-up mechanisms for the Conference decisions as well as for evaluating the actual impact of the measures/projects undertaken, (b) greater involvement/association of other international/regional development organizations, (c) efforts for resource mobilization for implementation of the EIF programmes and (d) enhancement by the donor community of their financial contributions towards projects in the LDCs with a view to achieve MDGs.

The Group of 77 and China notes that today's Conference has a pertinent theme, viz., "Aid for Trade: An Industrial Agenda for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)", a relevant agenda and practically-oriented roundtables. This, in conjunction with the presence of the LDCs and the international and regional organizations in good number here, can certainly lead to very productive deliberations.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Group would like to reaffirm its continuing support and attachment to the LDCs development and wishes the Conference a successful and fruitful conclusion.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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