UN chief calls on world leaders to help poor countries

11:21, May 10, 2011      

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that helping the world's most vulnerable people suffering from poverty, hunger and illnesses was a major political responsibility for world leaders.

The UN chief made the statement at a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul as part of the five-day fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) which started in Istanbul on Monday.

Helping the least developed countries would create a stimulating power that would help global economy recover and become stable again, Ban said.

He said that investing in the least developed countries was not a kind of charity work, but a major opportunity. The least developed countries would play a major role in development in the future.

Pointing to the importance of making investments in these countries, he said he hoped participants of the Istanbul summit would act with an enthusiastic and practical manner, and leave the meeting with an applicable long-term action plan.

Ban said the LDCs were on the brink of a serious crisis regarding nutrition and food safety due to increasing food prices, calling on public and private sectors to act together to build up a more sustainable future.

Pointing to the private sector's growing interest and investment need in the least developed countries in the past decade, Ban said such countries should expand their private sectors in order to increase their production capacities and boost their economies.

Describing corruption and lack of transparency as major problems of the least developed countries, the secretary general also noted that these problems blocked the way to peace and long-term investments as well.

About 60 heads of state or government and 100 ministers are attending the conference. Two papers, a political declaration and an action plan are expected to be adopted at the end of the conference in order to pave the way for a road map for activities of the next decade.

There are 48 least developed countries in the world with a population of 950 million. There are 33 African, 14 Pacific and a Latin American states among those countries.

Source: Xinhua
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