1. Introduction:

The UN General Assembly has decided to organize a three-day comprehensive High-level Midterm review of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) from 27 to 29 May 2016, in Antalya, Turkey. Participation shall be at the highest possible political level and should be open to all stakeholders of the IPoA, friends of LDCs including LDC Watch, which led the civil society track during the LDC IV conference, held in Istanbul in 2011. It is expected that High-level Midterm review shall result in an inter-government negotiated and agreed outcome in the form of a political declaration, where LDC Watch also hopes to have inputs on, as a representing voice of LDC Civil Society.

This approach paper addresses the strategies and programmes that LDC Watch is going to organise with regards to the High-level Midterm Review of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) to be held from 27-29 May 2016, in Antalya, Turkey. In addition, this approach paper will highlight ways in which LDC Watch can have a role as a platform to share the best practices, lessons learned and challenges in the implementation of IPoA from a civil society perspective from the LDCs.

LDC Watch is a global network of national, regional and international civil society organisations (CSOs), alliances and movements based in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as defined by the United Nations (UN). It acts as a coordinating body for LDC civil society to advocate, campaign and network for the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs) including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is accredited to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

2. Rationale

LDC Watch needs to participate in the Mid-Term Review ensuring effective representation of the voice of LDC Civil Society, which can also be the platform of LDC CSO representation to follow up on monitoring and implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA). Traditionally as well, LDC Watch organizes a global civil society forum of the least developed countries alongside of UN Meetings on LDCs. Hence, LDC Watch has decided to take the lead role in organising the global civil society forum of LDCs in Antalya, Turkey coinciding with the High-level Mid-term Review of IPoA to be organized by UN OHRLLS.

3. Objectives:

The objectives of the Global Civil Society Forum of the LDCs are as follows:

  • To follow up the implementation status of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) from the perspective of LDC Civil Society, especially with regards to the progress towards meeting the graduation criteria and challenges related to graduation of respective LDCs.
  •  To further advance the cause of effective participation of LDC Civil Society in the official process of the UNOHRLLS and other relevant UN agencies.
  • To strongly raise the concerns and issues faced by LDC Civil Society in the UN Defined 48 LDCs in regards to the progress towards meeting the graduation criteria and related challenges.
  • To act as partner and pressure group to respective LDCs as well as non-LDC governments to sincerely follow up on the effective implementation of the IPoA.
  • To build linkage of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other internationally agreed goals (IAGs) with the IPoA for its effective implementation in action.

4. Procedures:

4.1 First Phase: The first phase of the planned forum will start from February 2016 and will last until March 15, where the initial work for the preparation will commence. This first phase includes seeking inputs from organizations that are working together with LDC Watch with regards to the IPoA. In this phase, the LDC Watch will also share and communicate about its approach paper of the Global Civil Society Forum on the Change and the challenges of the implementation of IPoA with UN OHRLLS and Other UN and International Agencies and other Global Civil Society Organizations fighting for fair trade, climate justice, and sustainable development.

4.2 Second Phase: The second phase, beginning from March 16 to the end of April, would be increasing networks/connections with relevant bodies, including LDC Civil Society as well as holding the regional consultation in Africa. In this phase, LDC Watch will approach to the UN High-Level Official Representatives, Keynote Speakers, Resource Persons and Moderators for their contribution and active participation.

4.3 The Final Phase: In this phase, the LDC Watch will finalise the tentative programme, list of participants and all other necessary logistics for organizing the Global Civil Society Forum on LDCs. LDC Watch will also bring out its position papers on different thematic issues including the Five Years of Implementation of IPoA, Fair Trade, Climate Change, Debt Cancellation and Right to Food Sovereignty.

5. List of Participants and Selection Procedures

LDC watch is expecting at least 48 CSOs participants representing from the 48 LDCs. Selection of the 48 LDC CSOs will be from the LDC Watch National Focal Points, which have been continuously engaging in the advocacy, lobbying and campaign of LDC Watch for the effective implementation of IPoA and its synergy with SDGs at present and MDGs in past since UN LDC IV held in Istanbul in 2011. The participants in the LDC CSO Forum will be mainly the followings:

  • At least 48 LDC CSO delegates from LDCs as well as from developed countries which will participate in the forum.
  • High Level Participation from UN Agencies and other relevant stakeholders
  • CSO Representatives and Human Rights Defenders as observers
  • LDC Watch Board Members and Secretariat Staff
  • CSO representatives from the host country Turkey.

6. Programmes of Action of the proposed Forum

The three-day Global Forum of CSOs on “Change and Challenges of Implementation of IPoA” will cover the following programmes:

Day 1: Main forum with Opening Ceremony and Key Note Speeches followed by presentations and discussion on the implementation of IPoA. Opening Ceremony will be addressed by the UN High-level Representative/s, Chair of the LDC Group, Co-facilitators of the Drafting Committee of the Outcome documents, Government Representative of the host country and LDC Watch. Different thematic seminars will be also organized after the completion of the opening session of the Forum.

Day 2: Thematic Seminars on Fair Trade, Climate Justice and Paris Agreement, and synergy and coherence between IPoA and SDGs in relation to the dignity, justice and development of LDCs will be organized in the second day of the Forum.

Day 3: Thematic Seminar on Right to Food, Agriculture and Poverty Eradication, Debt Cancellation and Liberation of LDCs; and Concluding Session with a CSO Declaration will be undertaken in the last day of the Forum.

7. Expected outcomes:

  1. Inputs and suggestions from LDC Civil Society as a whole with regards to the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) and their integration into the official process of the Mid-Term Review of the IPoA.
  2. Analysis and proposals are shared from different LDC Civil Society actors on the future direction of LDC Civil Society and LDC Watch with regards to the IPoA.
  3. Increased collaborative dialogue amongst LDC Civil Society as well as with representatives from developed countries with regards to the issues and concerns in regards to the IPoA and LDC graduation in respective countries.
  4. Endorsed a strategic direction of LDC CSOs to link-up IPoA with the SDGs for enhancing the graduation process of LDCs.
  5. The forum culminating in the adoption of a CSO declaration.

8. Organising Committee:

In order to effectively organize the LDC CSO Forum as an integral part of the UN MTR on IPoA, LDC Watch will form an organising committee consists of its Board Members and International Secretariat. The main tasks of the organising committee will be to develop necessary strategy and planning, implementation of the programme, drafting of documents and publication, fundraising, and facilitation for the programme.

9. Publication of the Conference Report

LDC Watch will perform quantitative and qualitative research, gather inputs from the LDC Civil Society as well as other probable partners from developed countries, to develop a report of its official involvement in regards to the Mid-Term Review of the IPoA, which will then be published by LDC Watch by the end of 2016.

10. Collaboration with UN OHRLLS and the Government of Turkey

As an integral part of the UN LDC MTR on IPoA to be held in Antalya, Turkey, LDC Watch, the Global CSOs Forum of LDCs, will be organising the CSO Forum with the close collaboration of UN OHRLLS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Turkey.


LDC Watch

International Secretariat
288 Gairidhara Marg, Gairidhara, Kathmandu, Nepal 
Tel: +977 1 4427823, 4434165, 4425755, 4422153 Fax: +977 1 400450
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

European Coordination Office:
115 Rue Stévin, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +322 231 1659
Fax: +322 230 3780

For detail information:

Mid-term Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA)


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