UNCDF and UNCTAD Renew Joint Work on Sustainable Development in the Least Developed Countries

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have said they will renew joint work on policy research and analysis, technical cooperation and capacity building in their respective areas of competence to help bring long-lasting economic growth and development to the world's 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), particularly with respect to their meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a mid-term review meeting of the ten-year Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs (IPoA) taking place in Antalya, Turkey on May 27–29, 2016.

“We are very excited about this partnership and what it means for our support to Least Developed Countries," UNCDF Executive Secretary Judith Karl said. "The insights from our direct programmatic experience in LDCs over many decades with those finance models that improve the lives and livelihoods of poor people and communities, when combined with the excellent knowledge generation and research capacity of UNCTAD, will provide a nuanced understanding of many of the challenges and opportunities facing LDCs."

"This, we hope, will help LDCs and their development partners articulate those policy prescriptions and programmes which can best respond from the earliest stages of SDG implementation," she added:

UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Joakim Reiter said: "UNCTAD created the LDC category 45 years ago to trigger action on addressing the development needs and challenges of countries with the lowest development indicators in the world. UNCTAD's work helps LDCs in their efforts to make, grow and sell goods, and develop services, so that they can achieve structural economic progress and graduate from LDC status."

"By combining UNCTAD's expertise on trade and development issues with UNCDF's experience in building inclusive financial systems, we hope to enhance the capacity of both institutions to assist LDCs in achieving the targets of the IPoA and the SDGs," he added.

A body of the United Nations General Assembly, UNCTAD carries out economic research and policy analysis and produces alternative policies and options with recommendations to support government decision-making in poor and rich countries. It builds international consensus on trade and development issues, and offers technical assistance to support the effective and equitable integration of developing countries in the global economy.

UNCDF is a field-based United Nations agency that offers 'last-mile' finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. Its financing models are applied in thematic areas where addressing barriers to finance at the local level can have a transformational effect for poor and excluded people and communities.