On May 8th, the official opening day of civil society events at the UN LDC IV, the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, recognised the inspiring role of the civil society and called for "trilateral" cooperation between governments, business and CSOs to achieve better development results for the LDCs.
The Prime Minister of Nepal said that CSOs have an important role to play as the programme of action is applicable for the next decade.
The day also saw the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr Davutoglu, advocating for a paradigm shift because the current paradigm failed to include the poorest.
Civil society sessions on May 8 were on the upcoming aid effectiveness conference in Busan, commodities trading, and a preparatory meeting of CSOs in Asia Pacific to decide the regional agenda in the UN LDC IV Conference.
Aid effectiveness session
This session laid out the plans for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in November, which will be preceded by a workshop in May and an OECD meeting in July where the event agenda will be finalised.
Commodities trading session
Speakers in the commodities dependency session presented national experiences and proposed ways forward, including diversification of agricultural and industrial production, as well as mechanisms that regulate commodities markets with a view to protecting poor farmers and workers from price fluctuations.
The G20 presidency, the French government, also presented its ideas for such mechanisms to be discussed in the next G20 Summit. Trade unions brought up the issue of speculation in food markets and low taxes paid by mining companies in LDCs (tax avoidance and evasion).
Asia Pacific meeting
The Asia Pacific meeting discussed the issues of migrant workers and remittances, as well as gender issues. In particular, the meeting focused on the empowerment of women and on increasing the participation of women at all levels in economy, institutions, and decisions making. The unions raised the issues of the ratification and implementation of the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 which are lagging behind in Asian LDCs, as well as the promotion of social dialogue and the establishment of a Social Protection Floor. Moreover, the union representative attending the session spoke of deficiencies in law enforcement and monitoring and contributed to the discussion on migrants by advocating a rights-based approach.
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