A senior United Nations official today urged a caucus of developing States to take various steps to help their least advantaged neighbours, including by promoting trade and investment in the world's poorest nations.
Speaking at the High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation in Marrakech, Morocco, Anwarul Chowdhury said the meeting would attain greater success and credibility if its outcome reflected the full commitment of the "Group of 77" - a coalition of 135 countries - and China to support its least developed, landlocked and small islands members.
"I stand before you to advocate strongly that the bigger family of the developing countries - the Group of 77 and China - should give special attention to the opportunities and potentials for South-South cooperation that benefit their fellow vulnerable members," said Mr. Chowdhury, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
"Concrete actions, like the one taken last year by Morocco, our Chairman and our host, to cancel the debts of the African LDCs to give them free market access for their products," he added, using the acronym for least developed countries.
Mr. Chowdhury said there was "good potential" for expanding South-South cooperation in terms of investment promoting and trade and technical cooperation in LDCs to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development.
"Increased regional cooperation and greater market opportunities among developing countries in general, and with LDCs in particular, appear to be key factors for the expansion of South-South trade," he noted. "This will also enhance the LDCs production processes and marketing skills and further equip them to tackle the more demanding markets of the North."
He said LDCs now increasingly realize that to participate more effectively in multilateral processes, and to survive in the increasingly competitive world market, they and other developing countries needed to build the requisite capacities, share experiences and complement one another's expertise.