Speaking at the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed
Countries in Brussels, Mr. Moore said “we are here to address the
poverty and economic marginalization that grips the world's poorest
countries. We are here to reaffirm our commitment to the citizens in
these countries for whom every day is a struggle to survive. We are
here to see what we can do to assist the poorest of the poor.”
Moore praised the commitment to development shown by other senior
international figures attending the conference including French
President Jacques Chirac, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNCTAD
Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero and World Bank President Jim
on the work of similar initiatives in Paris in 1981 and 1990, the
conference is designed to consider appropriate national and
international responses to assist the 49 Least Developed Countries
(representing 10.5 per cent of the world population) with their
successful integration into the world economy.
is an opportunity to help Least Developed Countries”, said Mr.
Moore. “It is an opportunity that must be seized upon. Least
Developed Countries are ill-equipped to develop their economies and
ensure an adequate standard of living for their citizens. They
represent the weakest segment of the international community and their
social and economic development is a major challenge for all of us.
This Conference will discuss the challenges faced by these countries
in a globalized economy and, I hope, agree on measures the
international community can take to assist.”
Moore said responsibility for development rested first with LDC
governments themselves. He added, however, that the international
community must do more to meet the challenge of poverty reduction. He
called on donor countries to provide more aid and technical
assistance. He urged accelerated debt relief to the most heavily
indebted poor countries. He called on richer nations to improve market
access conditions for LDC products into their countries. He also
encouraged the launching of a new round of multilateral trade
negotiations. President Chirac and Secretary General Annan joined Mr.
Moore in calling for a new round of negotiations.
the moment, Least Developed Countries have less than 1 percent of
world exports. I believe an effective way to prevent the further
marginalization of Least Developed Countries from the world economy is
through the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.
A round offers the poorest and most disenfranchised among us the
leverage to obtain wider access for their products, more funds for
technical assistance and more flexibility in implementing their
commitments under existing WTO rules.”
Conference continues through the current week. On Thursday 17 May, the
Director-General will address a Special Session on ‘International
Trade, Commodities and Services/Tourism’. He is expected to use this
opportunity to announce a series of ‘deliverables’ from the WTO.
These are policies and activities designed to assist Least Developed
Countries better to participate in the multilateral trading system.