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The United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries - LDC III
Brussels (Belgium), 14 - 20 May 2001

UNESCO contributed significantly to the preparation and conduct of the United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries - LDC III and organised the Interactive Thematic Discussion on "Education for All" which took place on 16 May 2001.

The objectives of the Conference are as follows:

  1. To assess the results of the Programme of Action during the 1990s at the country level;

  2. To review the implementation of international support measures, particularly in the areas of official development assistance, debt, investment and trade; and,

  3. To consider the formulation and adoption of appropriate national and international policies and measures for sustainable development of the least developed countries and their progressive integration into the world economy.

Follow this link to the UN web site for more information  >>>

Click here to read the UNESCO thematic discussion paper on Education for All >>>

The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Koïchiro Matsuura, said that the main focus of action following last year’s Dakar Forum should be at the national level, and particular emphasis must be placed on assistance to the least developed countries (LDCs).  Cooperation and networking were also needed, as education for all was a collective commitment.  It was important to build on what already existed, in order to make universal education a reality.  The year 2015 was close enough, but there was still enough time to allow each country to draw its national plans and make better use of its national potential.

Click on the link to read the address by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the interactive thematic session on education for all and sustainable development in the LDCs, Brussels, 16 May 2001 ENG FRE

Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries
Adopted by the Third United Nations Conference
on the Least Developed Countries in Brussels on
20 May 2001

This Programme of Action aims to significantly improve the human conditions of more than 600 million people in 49 LDCs during the present decade. Against the backdrop of lack of progress in socio-economic development in the LDCs and in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the 1990s, it provides a framework for a strong global partnership to accelerate sustained economic growth and sustainable development in LDCs, to end marginalization by eradicating poverty, inequality and deprivation in these countries, and to enable them to integrate beneficially into the global economy.

This Programme of Action is based on the international development targets, actions by LDCs and commensurate support measures by their development partners, and on the values, principles and objectives of the Millennium Declaration. These political, economic and social objectives and, as appropriate, other UN targets are incorporated into the commitments of the Programme of Action.

The overarching goal of the Programme of Action is to make substantial progress toward halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015 and promote the sustainable development of the LDCs. This will require, among other things, significant and steady increases in GDP growth rates in LDCs. To that end, LDCs, with the support of their development partners, will strive to attain a GDP growth rate of at least 7 per cent per annum and increase the ratio of investment to GDP to 25 per cent per annum. In this regard, civil society, including the private sector, is an important participant. >>> Click here to read more 

For more information on the Conference, please consult the following site >>> http://www.unctad.org/conference/