LDC

About the event

  • Context
  • Organizers
  • Working Theme
  • Objectives
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Format and Expected Participants
  • The Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs) category refers to 46 countries facing common structural challenges and constraints that halt their productive capacities and make them particularly vulnerable to external shocks and global challenges such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges put the last decade of development progress at risk of sliding back, and highlight the urgency to support the industrial development of the most vulnerable.

    The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the decade 2011-2020 defined eight priority areas of action that have guided UNIDO’s operational strategy in supporting the graduation of the LDCs for the last ten years. Following the IPoA, the new ambitious Doha Programme of Action 2022-2031 (DPoA), will be adopted at the 5th United Nations Conference on the LDCs (UN LDC5), to be held in Doha, Qatar, from 23 to 27 January 2022.

    The UN resolution 73/242 calls upon the UN system and the Bretton Woods institutions to contribute actively to the preparatory process of UN LDC5, and provide support for its successful organization. In response to this call, through its mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), UNIDO has contributed to the formulation of the new programme of action through several initiatives at the global, regional and national level.

    This year's Ministerial Conference of the LDCs will be held on 25-26 November 2021, immediately prior to the 19th session of the UNIDO General Conference, and will serve as the last global pre-event towards UN LDC5. The Ministerial Declaration stemming from the Ministerial Conference will mainstream the DPoA into the policy orientations building UNIDO Operational Strategy and Implementation Plan for the LDCs 2022-2031, in line with the six priority areas of the DPoA, namely:

    • Investing in people in LDCs: Eradicating poverty and building capacity to leave no one behind,
    • Leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,
    • Structural transformation as a driver of prosperity,
    • Enhancing international trade of least developed countries and regional integration,
    • Addressing climate change, recovering from COVID-19 pandemic, and building resilience against future shocks, and
    • Mobilizing international solidarity, reinvigorated global partnerships and innovative tools for risk-informed sustainable development.

  • The UNIDO Ministerial Conferences of the LDCs have been held bi-annually in cooperation with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) since 2007, paving the way for the UNIDO General Conference, and have now reached the 9th edition. The leading role of UN-OHRLLS in serving the vulnerable Member States of the United Nations and in supporting the graduation of the LDCs will promote strong political outcomes stemming from the Ministerial Conference, to address and serve the needs and priorities of LDCs in the next decade and beyond.

    The event is co-organized for the first time together with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), considering the eve of the entry into force of the ambitious Post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement that marks a step towards a new era of relations between States in the European Union, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). The Agreement aims to strengthen the capacity of the EU and ACP countries to jointly address global challenges related to human development, inclusive sustainable economic development and growth, human rights, climate change, gender equality and more. The contribution of OACPS will strengthen existing and open new important areas of technical cooperation in such a pivotal moment.

  • This year’s event focuses on the next decade of action in the LDCs, under the overarching theme:

    “The Next Decade of Action: Accelerating ISID in LDCs”.

    In line with the six priority areas defined by the Doha Programme, the Conference will serve as a global platform to foster high-level discussions to address the challenges faced by the LDCs in the next decade. The Conference’s theme is particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, for its core focus on enablers for resilience, corridors and facilitators for the graduation of the LDCs, to build back better. Gender equality, the empowerment of women and youth, climate change and COVID-19 will be cross-cutting themes addressed throughout the Conference. The relevance of UNIDO’s mandate of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) will be highlighted as an effective means to address the structural challenges and constraints faced by LDCs.

    • Review the progress made by the LDCs in the implementation of the IPoA, exchange experiences on the challenges faced and ways to overcome them through innovative approaches;
    • Discuss policy orientations guiding UNIDO interventions in the next decade of action, as formulated in UNIDO’s position paper, to mainstream DPoA into UNIDO’s work programme and align with the cooperation strategies of donor countries and emerging economies;
    • Promote resource mobilization to implement and support the UNIDO Operational Strategy and Implementation Plan for the LDCs 2022-2031;
    • Enable partnership building and resource mobilization to achieve UNIDO’s ISID mandate in the LDCs and leave no one behind;
    • Discuss the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on LDCs and identify recommendations to develop mitigation measures;
    • Encourage discussions on ways to promote gender mainstreaming and the role of women in industrialization within the next PoA, in line with SDG5;
    • Improve awareness and knowledge to address specific needs and priorities of LDCs.
    • Adopt a Ministerial Declaration, in line with the six priority areas of the Doha Programme stemming from UN LDC5;
    • Pre-validate UNIDO’s policy orientations adopted via the Ministerial Declaration for the LDCs, containing a position paper serving the development of the next UNIDO Operational Strategy and Implementation Plan for the LDCs 2022-2031;
    • Reinforce the political commitments at a ministerial level with ISID as a driver of prosperity to support the sustainable graduation of the LDCs;
    • Build result-oriented and innovative global and regional partnerships via the organization of global fora and meetings with the DG and co-organizers to accelerate the implementation of SDG9 and the graduation process of the LDCs;
    • Promote high-level exchanges on policy best practices to overcome challenges associated with the graduation process and achieve sustainable goals in priority areas.
  • The Conference will bring together representatives from the LDCs at the ministerial level, high-level government representatives from UNIDO Member States and donors, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), public and private sector representatives, UN entities, high-level speakers and panellists, NGOs.

    Given the restrictions and challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be held in a hybrid format, with in-person participation of LDCs Ministers, chair and vice-chair, speakers, panellists, and will be moderated at the Vienna international Center (VIC), with virtual participation to the entire event and all side events. The Conference will be held over two days, containing also two high-level Ministerial interactive sessions focused on unpacking DPoA priorities to address the needs of LDCs, and accelerating ISID in LDCs in the next decade of action. The Conference will also include informal debates with the LDCs on the draft Ministerial Declaration and will also feature side events organized by UNIDO Departments and relevant stakeholders and partners in line with the priorities of the Doha Programme of Action.

    The working languages of the meeting will be English and French and interpretation will be provided.

Side events information

  • Agricultural value chain productivity growth as vehicle for steering structural transformation - 25 November 2021
  • Mainstreaming the 4IR in LDCs through Science, Technology and Innovation - 25 November 2021
  • Building industry differently after COVID: Fostering resilience and regional value chain development
  • The international gold supply chain and artisanal mining: From potential to transformational impact - 25 November 2021
  • Circular economy: leveraging the post-pandemic response to build forward to the future we want - 25 November 2021
  • Accelerating the energy transition through integrated and inclusive regional renewable energy and energy efficiency product and service markets within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) - 25 November 2021
  • What: Agricultural value chain productivity growth as vehicle for steering structural transformation

    When: 25 November 2021 at 2 -3:30 p.m. (CET)

    Background:

    The international Community committed itself to eradicating hunger and poverty and to achieving other important goals, including making agriculture sustainable, decent work for all, reducing inequality, and making economic growth inclusive when it adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, prospects for eradicating hunger and poverty in LDCs are overshadowed by the low productivity of subsistence agriculture, limited scope for industrialization and above all rapid rates of population growth and explosive urbanization. Therefore fulfilling the 2030 Agenda depends on expanding opportunities in rural areas, which is where most of the poor and hungry live. In the recent past rural transformations in many countries have led to an increase of more than 750 million in the number of rural people living above the poverty line.

    In this context, the side event will discuss how growth in agricultural value chain productivity can be a vehicle for steering structural transformation in LDCs. The session will explore homegrown solutions and international best practices needed to realize rural transformations. The outcome of the discussions will inform the LDCs process of renewing partnership between LDCs and their development partners to overcome structural challenges, eradicate poverty, achieve internationally agreed development goals and enable graduation from the LDC category.

    Key objectives: 

    To inform discussions on process of renewing partnership between LDCs and development partners to overcome structural challenges, eradicate poverty, achieve internationally agreed development goals.

    Welcoming remarks:

    Dejene Tezera, Director of Department of Agribusiness, UNIDO

    Keynote: 

    “Leveraging partnerships to deliver value for farmers” by Brent M. Malahay, Group Director in charge of Strategy, Strategic Investor Relations and Partnerships - Equity Bank - voted the Best Bank in Africa, 2020 (Virtual)

    Panellists:

    • Michele Morana, Director Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Khartoum (Virtual)
    • Elsayed Adam Ali Mohamed ABDELMOMEN, UNIDO Representative Sudan (Virtual)
    • Hashim Hussein, Head UNIDO ITPO Bahrain (Virtual)
    • Moulaye Kande BIAYE, Directeur et Co-fondateur de T&M SARL Champion, UNIDO- BMZ INOE project (Virtual)

    Moderation: Fred Kongóngó, UNIDO Department of Agribusiness

    Please register here.

  • What: Mainstreaming the 4IR in LDCs through Science, Technology and Innovation

    When: 25 November 2021 at 2 - 3:30 p.m. (CET)

    Background:

    The 4IR is being propelled by frontier technologies (such as AI, blockchain, 3D printing, IoT and virtual and augmented reality) that are better, cheaper, faster, more scalable and easier to use than ever before. These technologies converge and recombine through digital platforms to accelerate change across multiple sectors. Exciting applications of these emerging technologies resulted in tangible achievements of attaining the SDGs in countries across the globe.

    The advent of the 4IR can help LDCs leapfrog traditional phases of development and accelerate their transition to developed nations. Deploying these technologies optimally and strategically can create a potent mix of resources and infrastructure that can yield better quality, more sustainable growth. However, LDCs will need the right mix of policies and instruments to capture the dazzling opportunities that the 4IR presents.

    The thematic focus of this side event will aim to contribute to the following priority of the Doha Programme of Action: Leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Key objectives: 

    • To present a policy paper which presents a compelling case for the rapid adoption of 4IR technologies by LDCs to achieve rapid economic growth and as well as meet their sustainable development and de-carbonization goals.
    • To invite distinguished speakers and experts to discuss how the LDCs can accelerate their transition to this new industrial paradigm despite the many development challenges they endure, as well as suggest practical recommendations by which LDCs can initiate their 4IR journey.

    Expected outcomes:

    The expected outcome of this side event is the preparation of actionable recommendations for LDCs to catalyze the 4IR mainstreaming efforts.

    Facets to be considered in preparing these recommendations include (but not limited to):

    • Human capital and skills development;
    • Standards and regulations related to innovation, entrepreneurship,
    • Regional cooperation among SMEs;
    • Creation of long-term strategies for the uptake of the 4IR; and strategic international partnerships.

    Speakers: 

    • Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitization, Technology & Agribusiness, UNIDO
    • Ravi Gupta, CEO, Tambourine Innovation Ventures
    • Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)
    • Joshua Setipa, Managing Director, UN Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries
    • Sabine Dall’Omo, Chief Executive Officer at Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa
    • Pedro Fernandes Lopes, Secretary of State for Digital Economy of the Government of the Republic of Cabo Verde
    • Lugano Wilson, Director of Industries, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tanzania

    Please register here.

  • What: Building industry differently after COVID: Fostering resilience and regional value chain development

    When: 25 November 2021 at 3:30 - 5 p.m. (CET)

    Co-organizers: UNIDO, UNCTAD

    Background:

    How can LDCs build back better their industries to prevent them from future shocks such as the pandemic? And further, how can they foster inclusive and sustainable industrial development that corresponds to their resource endowment and local capacities catering to societal needs such as generating income and employment for a broader base of their populations?

    Expected outcomes:

    This side event will bring experts and practitioners in industrial policy together to discuss the future of manufacturing in Least Developed Countries in the post-COVID era. A keynote shall provide an overview of the impact of the pandemic on LDC industries and some of the reactions of LDC industries in terms of less-distant sourcing and promoting local production. In the subsequent panel discussions, panelists will provide anecdotal evidence for adequate policy responses to mitigate COVID 19 impacts on LDC industries via the development of local industries. The moderator will then engage with participants on a debate on the effects of disruptions in global trade on LDC industries and how LDC industries should be supported by policies to better absorb disruptions in the future.

    The side event will contribute to the crafting of policies that foster structural transformation in industries in LDCs in the post-COVID era. It can inform the crafting of resolutions on how to build industries forward differently in LDCs after COVID-19.

    Speakers: 

    Welcome remarks: Miniva Chibuye, Economic Affairs Officer, UN-OHRLLS

    Opening: Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director-General, UNIDO

    Keynote “COVID effects on industrial production and trade in LDCs: Some data evidence”: Frank Hartwich and Christoph Hammer, Research and Industrial Policy, UNIDO

    Panelists

    • Kitti Settha Pandita Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation 
    • Maimuna Kibenga TARISHI, Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna 
    • Rolf TRAEGER, Chief LDC section, UNCTAD (tbc)
    • Eunice G. Kamwendo, Director of ECA Subregional Office for Southern Africa (ECA SRO SA)
    • Hassim AMIRALY President of the Union of Malagasy Industries

    Moderation: Rita Isiba (tbc)

    Please register here.

  • What: The international gold supply chain and artisanal mining: From potential to transformational impact

    When: 25 November 2021 at 3:30 - 5 p.m. (CET)

    Background:

    Within the framework of the Minamata Convention and UNIDO’s Mercury Programme, more than 20 Member States with technical support of UNIDO have started the formalization of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector. Cleaner, more efficient, and mercury-free technologies are being implemented to protect public health and the environment. Artisanal and small-scale miners are receiving training to better leverage their access to responsible gold markets.

    However, efforts to transform ASGM into a stable livelihood for men and women in LDCs are being challenged by the pandemic and informal/illegal actors with vested interest. Coupled with too few incentives as well as limited control and monitoring, illegal mining and trade, and hazardous labor are likely to continue and even expand.

    Nevertheless, solutions exists!

    This event will bring policymakers, industry experts, and representatives from the private sector together to discuss the potentials of ASGM as a driver of economic growth in LDCs.

    Key objectives: 

    • Increase awareness on ASGM potential for responsible rural development;
    • Highlight UNIDO’s expertise in the field;
    • Transform public perception of the industry;
    • Promote responsible supply chain and ethical consumption.

    Expected outcomes:

    Encourage government officials of LDCs to reassess the importance of the ASGM sector and to strengthen their policy frameworks on responsible gold mining.

    Inspire other stakeholders (private sector, consumers) to take action and be part of the fair and responsible gold supply chain.

    Confirmed speakers: 

    • Roger Baro, Director and Minamata Focal Point, Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso
    • Liliane Randrianomenjanahary, Head of Medical and Social Services and Minamata Focal Point, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Madagascar
    • Louis Marèchal, Sector Lead, Minerals & Extractives, OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct
    • Pavlina Spasovska, Project Manager at Minespider, Germany
    • Phaedon Stamatopoulos, Director of Refining and Banking at Argor Heraeus S. A., Switzerland

    Please watch the event here.

  • What: Circular economy: leveraging the post-pandemic response to build forward to the future we want

    When: 25 November 2021 at 5 - 6:30 p.m. (CET)

    Background: 

    While the acceleration of climate change holds an instructive magnifying glass to the flaws in our system, COVID-19 recovery plans present policy makers and industry the window to translate lessons into bold structural change. With around USD 10 trillion in economic stimulus being unveiled by governments around the world for recovery, an unprecedented opportunity arises to move away from unmitigated growth at all costs towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

    There are still many uncertainties about how the economic landscape will evolve after the COVID-19 crisis. The Doha Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries states “Least Developed Countries are expected to take three to five years or more to recover to their pre-crisis level of gross domestic product per capita”. Not to mention the additional challenges posed by climate change, which will drastically shift the recovery outlook.

    Only ambitious policies that combat short-term "rescue" but ultimately long-term "recovery" will ensure a resilient economic reform in the face of future global risks. In recent years, circular economy has gained traction as a viable solution to enable the systematic transformations needed to correct the course of the global economy. Circularity offers opportunities for better growth through an economic model that is resilient, distributed, diverse and inclusive, capable of tackling the root causes of the most pressing global challenges.

    Key objectives:

    During an interactive debate, speakers will discuss how to leverage COVID-19 recovery measures to promote and facilitate the transition to a more circular economy.

    Expected outcomes:

    Stepping beyond the limitations of current policy and narrow national climate pledges, immediate policy actions and concrete measures will be discussed in light of the outcomes of the global consultations on circular economy, convened by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in May 2021.

    Speakers:

    • LI Yong, Director General, UNIDO
    • Jocelyne Landry Tsonang, Circular economy analyst, African Circular Economy Network (tbc)
    • Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria (tbc)
    • Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica (tbc
    • Leonard Iyamuremye, Global Ambassador, Youth4Nature (tbc)
    • Shahab Uddin, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh (tbc)
    • Siméon Sawadogo, Minister of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change, Burkina Faso (tbc)
    • Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, Rwanda (tbc)

    Please register herePasscode: 649172.

  • What: Accelerating the energy transition through integrated and inclusive regional renewable energy and energy efficiency product and service markets within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

    When: 25 November 2021 at 5 - 6:30 p.m. (CET)

    Co-organizers: Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) and Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances (EELA)

    Background: 

    The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the African continent’s most ambitious integration initiative, embedded in the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, whose main objective is to create a single continental market for products and services with free movement of people and investments.

    From the energy dimension, the expansion and harmonization of regional renewable energy and energy efficiency product and service markets is an important pillar of the AfCFTA and can become an accelerator of the continent’s energy and climate transition. This vision goes beyond the interconnection of transmission lines and pipelines and includes the entire value chain of sustainable energy product manufacturing and servicing. An inclusive energy transition requires special attention to local value creation, as well as supply(ier)-oriented incentives, standards, quality infrastructure and business models. However, particularly least developed countries (LDCs) are often reduced to the role of importers.

    As part of the economic integration efforts of the RECs, the UNIDO established Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) aims to accelerate the energy transition by creating economies of scales, equal progress and spill-over effects between countries. The integration and harmonization of sustainable energy product and service markets is an important cornerstone of their work that could support the implementation of the energy dimension of the AfCFTA.

    Within this framework, the side event 7 of UNIDO 9th Ministerial Conference will discuss the energy dimension of the AfCFTA beyond the interconnection of power pools. The discussant from the GN-SEC centres, Sida, and private sector, will broaden this discussion, covering the challenges, requirements and opportunities by considering the entire value chain of sustainable energy product manufacturing and servicing, and exploring the role the GN-SEC centers could play.

    Key objectives:

    Broaden the discussion on the energy dimension of the AfCFTA beyond the interconnection of power pools by considering the entire value chain of sustainable energy product manufacturing and servicing.

    Expected outcomes:

    • Strengthened awareness on the benefits of the AfCFTA for an inclusive African energy and climate transition, creating local jobs and turnover, facilitating inter-regional trade and joint ventures between African businesses.
    • Strengthened awareness on the importance of supply(ier)-side support, local content requirements, quality infrastructure and standards for the African sustainable energy industry.
    • Reinforced role of the GN-SEC centres regarding the harmonisation of sustainable energy product and service standards and the implementation of the energy dimension of the AfCFTA. 
    • Development of an UNIDO GN-SEC program in support of the AfCFTA, focusing on sustainable energy quality infrastructure and standards, including for on-grid and off-grid renewable energy solutions, as well as efficient appliances facilitated.

    Speakers:

    • Tareq Emtairah, Director, Department of Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
    • Bah Saho, Executive Director, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)
    • Ashraf Kraidy, Planning Director at the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) for Arab States
    • Jessica Magnusson, Senior Advisor, Power Africa, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
    • Gurbuz Gonul, Director – Country Engagement & Partnerships, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
    • Eugenia Masvikeni, Energy and Environmental Finance Specialist, SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE)
    • Canon Goddy Muhanguzi Muhumuza, Interim Executive Director of the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE)

    Please register for the event here.