Statement delivery by H.E. Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Chairman of the Group of 77 Vienna Chapter to the LDCs Ministerial Conference, 24-25 November 2011 - Vienna, Austria

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

1. The Group of 77 and China highly appreciates UNIDO's initiative on organizing this 4th LDC Ministerial Conference which gives high priority to the structural transformation of the LDC economies within the context of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA).

2. Industrial development and international trade are necessary requirements for economic growth and sustainable development. Under-investment in physical infrastructures, lack of technology, scientific research, with high dependence on primary commodities along with weak industrialization and weak economic base pose great challenges to LDCs in achieving agricultural development. Recent volatility in food prices and its subsequent destabilizing impact affirmed the need for agricultural development in these countries to achieve global food security. Scientific and technological levels of farming need to be raised while agricultural infrastructure investment and innovation need to be promoted to increase manufacturing activities. In addition, helping women and small holder farmers integrate into the global value chain is key to promoting sustainable agriculture.

3. Mr. Chair, LDCs require technical and financial support for developing rural infrastructures, enhancing the knowledge of farmers and having access to markets. The Group welcomes and supports UNIDO's development of a strategy for the LDCs geared towards achieving these and other objectives of the IPoA and encourages LDC Member States to adopt this strategy.

4. The Group would also like to encourage LDCs to make efforts to integrate the necessary provisions of the IPoA into national policies and development frameworks and will therefore continue to support UNIDO in implementing initiatives that will lead to the success of the IPoA.

5. The Group of 77 and China looks forward to a fruitful and rewarding discussion and exchange of views in the days ahead.

Thank you Mr. Chair.

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