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Energising the LDCs to achieve the MDGs
The Challenges and Opportunities of Globalization
9 July 2007 - 11 July 2007
UN Ministerial Conference on the LDCs


Least Developed Countries at a crossroads1

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are moving at a rapid pace to deal with the challenges of economic and social development. Some of the LDCs are witnessing large growth rates, while others are being left behind, still with very high poverty rates and lack of access to basic services. In fact 18 out of the 46 LDCs for which data are available were unable to achieve per capita growth rates of more than 1 percent per year during the period 2001–20042. Moreover, in a number of the LDCs, there are persistent inequities in the delivery of public goods and social services, financial services for the poor and legal empowerment, including property and labor rights.

The LDCs face both tremendous challenges and opportunities if they are to increase access to energy services in ways that are sustainable, equitable, and economically prudent. With globalization, the LDCs can tap into more modern and efficient technologies, information, and partners to tackle their energy access challenges. However, it is necessary for LDCs to ensure that they have the appropriate national strategies and policies, governance structures and capacity in place to protect their natural resources, their economies, and most importantly the interests of the poor women and men. This paper highlights the key energy related challenges and options for the LDCs in the context of globalization.


Footnotes:
  1. This issues paper was prepared for the Ministerial Conference “Making Globalization Work for the LDCs”, Istanbul, Turkey, July 9-11, 2007 by Minoru Takada, Kamal Rijal, and Ellen Morris from the Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP. Comments were provided by Olav Kjřrven, Philip Dobie, Abul Barkat, Abeeku Brew-Jammond and staff in the Inclusive Globalization Cluster of the Poverty Group in the Bureau for Development Policy and the Office of Development Studies of UNDP. Additionally, the paper benefited from comments by the Government of Turkey and by the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Issues raised by UNDP Country Offices have been included as appropriate.
  2. UNCTAD, LDC Report, 2006.

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