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WMO programme for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

(Extract from the final abridged report of Fourteenth World Meteorological Congress (May 2005) Congress noted that the third United Nations Conference on the LDCs was held in Brussels in May 2001 with the main objective of reviewing the implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs approved in 1991. The Conference recognized the limited results achieved by the international community in supporting the LDCs during the past decade and agreed that new approaches were required to assist LDCs in their efforts to improve their economies and the plight of their populations. In that connection, the Conference adopted a Programme of Action for the LDCs for the decade 2001-2010 which aimed at improving the human conditions of more than 600 million people in the 49 countries concerned, through accelerated sustained economic growth. In order to fulfil the commitments contained therein, the United Nations system, including WMO, was requested to play a key role in the implementation of the Programme of Action. Congress noted that the WMO Executive Council, during its 53rd session, had requested the Secretary-General to prepare appropriate proposals concerning WMO's support to the implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs for the decade 2001-2010 and had agreed on the need to develop a WMO programme for the LDCs to contribute to the overall Programme of Action. Congress also noted that several organizations had already drawn up special programmes for LDCs in their areas of competence. Those included ITU, the International Maritime Organization, UNCTAD and ILO. In that connection, Congress decided to establish a WMO programme for the LDCs whose long-term objective would be to contribute efficiently and in a timely manner to the social and economic development efforts of those countries through the enhancement of the capacities and capabilities of their NMHSs. Congress agreed that the WMO programme for the LDCs should be based on the initiatives already developed in the WMO Regions. Those included the Strategy for the Enhancement and Improvement of WWW Basic Systems in RA I, the Strategic Plan for the Enhancement of NMSs in RA II and the Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Meteorology in the Pacific Region. Other initiatives included NEPAD, the GCOS Regional Action Plans as well as the action plans developed by several LDCs within the framework of regional economic groupings in Africa and Asia. The programme would encompass capacity building and human resources development, strengthening and maintenance of the basic meteorological infrastructure as well as support to priority areas such as natural disaster mitigation and prevention, climate monitoring and prediction and flood forecasting and water resources assessment and management. The purpose and scope, objectives and planned activities of the programme are given in the Annex IV to this report and should be included in the appropriate section under the Technical Cooperation Programme in the 6LTP. In that connection, Congress adopted Resolution 21 (Cg-XIV). For the implementation of the programme, Congress agreed that specific projects should be developed to address the requirements of the most critical NMHSs of the LDCs. The main strategy would be to keep under review the needs of NMHSs of the LDCs and to concentrate efforts in securing funding for a number of countries at a time in order to produce tangible and lasting results. To mobilize additional resources apart from resources from existing sources, such as the WMO VCP and Trust Funds, Congress requested the Secretary-General to establish a special WMO Trust Fund for the LDCs. The Fund would receive voluntary cash contributions from Members, bilateral and multilateral funding agencies, including the World Bank, regional development banks, and from NGOs and the private sector. The terms of reference of the Fund are given in Annex V to this report. In order to launch the above Trust Fund, Congress agreed that a modest contribution be made available from the VCP(F). Congress requested the Secretary-General to find a suitable mechanism for mobilizing resources for the programme, taking into account existing trust funds and other funding sources. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the programme, Congress appealed to all Members to participate in, and contribute to, the programme. Congress requested the Executive Council to monitor the progress made and to provide appropriate advice on the mobilization of resources and implementation of the programme. In view of the fact that several non-LDC countries needed support for the rehabilitation of their NMHHs, Congress requested the Secretary-General to continue providing assistance to those countries.


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