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UN launches leadership capacity scheme for world’s poorest countries

UN launches leadership capacity scheme for world’s poorest countries

The United Nations has launched a programme to develop the national leadership capacity in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs), a group of States on the lowest economic rung.

To be carried out in partnership with UN agencies, donor countries and civil society organizations, the programme aims to use methods that have proven successful in development and corporate worlds to strengthen the ability of LDCs to address core development challenges, ranging from fighting HIV/AIDS to reducing poverty.

“This is a very important initiative that will build the capacity of LDCs to address major development concerns in a sustainable manner by tapping the unique strengths of individuals, communities and organizations in those countries,” said Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States during Wednesday’s launch at UN Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Chowdhury said that the programme was a timely response to the observation made during last year’s mid-term review of the Programme of Action for LDCs in Cotonou, Benin, where participants called for “support to LDCs in their efforts for leadership and capacity development with special focus on the young people and women.”

The programme will initially be implemented in nine countries – Cambodia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Mr. Chowdhury said that it will be extended to 20 more by the end of the year, with the target of covering all of the 50 LDCs in the following year.

At the launch, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam observed that a large proportion of the population of LDCs is composed of young people, who could be a major resource if given the necessary opportunities, but also a reservoir for discontent if neglected.