Governance for the Future: Democracy and Development in the LDCs is the first United Nations Report to focus specifically on the challenges of governance faced by the 50 poorest nations in the world, collectively known as Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Jointly prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), this publication emphasizes that to achieve sustain- able development, LDCs must build transparent, accountable and effective democratic governance systems. Building a strong relationship between the state and its citizens is key to successful development and to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Governance for the Future draws from the 2002 Human Development Report, which underlines that political mechanisms of participation and interaction are as important to sustainable development as economic mechanisms and the functioning of markets. Markets must be embedded in legitimate political institutions. It analyzes the democrat- ic governance challenges facing LDCs, and examines the approaches that have been taken to date. The Report is divided into five chapters focusing on: democratic gover- nance, the linkages between governance and poverty, the role of state and non-state actors, the rule of law, and global governance.
In the past two decades, the LDCs have seen substantial improvements in human development, despite the severity of their capacity constraints and their limited role in global trading and financial systems. However, the development and governance chal- lenges remain immense. A step forward was made in May 2001 with the adoption of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Decade 2001-2010 at the Third UN Conference on LDCs. This publication considers the principles of the Programme to be the basis of progress for LDCs.