Turkey to host UN summit on least developed countries

AFP , Tuesday 12 Apr 2011

Istanbul is set to host a UN summit addressing poverty in least developed countries; Iran and Afghanistan confirm attendance

A number state leaders, including the presidents of Iran and Afghanistan, will be in Istanbul in May for a UN summit on the problems of the least developed countries, a Turkish diplomat said Tuesday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed their participation at The Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries, the diplomat said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is also likely to attend the summit as the head of Group of 20, he added.

The conference will be held between May 9 and 13 to address poverty, food security, energy and climate change, which are particularly crucial issues for the world's 48 countries with a per capita income of less than 745 dollars.

Nearly 60 heads of states and governments, a hundred ministers and representatives of major international organizations including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are expected to attend the summit, the diplomat said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will chair the conference.

The least developed countries of the world include 33 African and 14 Asia-Pacific countries, as well as Haiti. In 1971, the United Nations identified those countries as "the weakest and the poorest of the international community."

The UN summit on least developed countries has been held every decade since 1981.

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