Tech bank for Least Developed Countries among outcomes of UN conference

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Participants at the Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action, which concluded on Sunday in Antalya, Turkey.  Photo: UNOHRLLS

The proposed establishment later this year of a technology bank to help 48 of the world's poorest countries to increase their scientific and technological capacities is among the outcomes of a UN conference which concluded this Sunday in Turkey.

The meeting focused on the progress made by these nations, collectively known as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), since the adoption of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA) five years ago.

The IPOA outlines a path for LDCs to achieve sustainable development over the decade ending in 2020.

Reem Abaza reports from the conference, which was held in the coastal city of Antalya.

The Midterm Review Conference of the Istanbul Programme Of Action for the LDCs reviewed progress made on the path to sustainable development.

UN Under-Secretary-General Gyan Acharya said at a press conference that the conference was very successful, noting the high-level participation from all the LDCs and their development partners and international institutions.

"It has come out in a very forward-looking and a very productive ambitious outcome document. It is very important for us to really look at the issues related to the LDCs in a more focused manner in order to make progress more rapid in the next five years."

Ayse Sinirlioglu, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey, said the outcome document reflects the consensus of the international community in its support to the Least Developed Countries.

Speaking about the document, she added:

"It includes concrete actions and initiatives, such as the technology bank for the Least Developed Countries, which Turkey will host in Gebze.  The technology bank will make significant contributions to the scientific and technological capacity of the Least Developed Countries. We will do our part to make the technology bank operational by the end of this year."

Mr Acharya said that the outcome document "talks about renewed commitment of international partnership for transformative change in LDCs."

Mr  Acharya also applauded the renewed commitment for official development assistance (ODA) and strong support for trade and enhanced investments.

"I was very happy that now just during the time of the conference, we just heard an announcement that the Secretary-General had already established an inter-governing council to support the technology bank in LDC.  We'll look forward to its successful work so that we can start operationalizing it in Gebze in Turkey in 2017."

The Midterm Review Conference was co-organized by The Government of Turkey and The United Nations' Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. 

Reem Abaza, Antalya, Turkey.

Duration: 2’27″

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