Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)

Full Name: UN-OHRLLS, the Office of the High Representative for Landlocked Developing Countries, Small Island Developing States, and Least Developed Countries

Established: 2001

Headquarters: New York, USA


  • Advocate for the specific needs and challenges of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the UN system.
  • Support these countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Focus Areas:

  • Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Supporting their graduation from LDC status through various initiatives.
  • Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs): Addressing their unique development challenges, such as access to the sea and geographical constraints.
  • Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Supporting their resilience to climate change and other environmental challenges, as well as promoting sustainable development strategies.


  • Policy research and analysis
  • Advocacy and awareness raising
  • Coordination and collaboration among various UN agencies and stakeholders
  • Technical assistance and capacity building
  • Monitoring and evaluation of progress on relevant development goals
  • Governance:
  • Headed by a High Representative, appointed by the UN Secretary-General
  • Reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Advancing Global Development: UN-OHRLLS and the Challenges of LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS

In the complex landscape of global development, certain countries face unique challenges that demand focused attention and coordinated support. The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) stands as a beacon of hope for these vulnerable nations. With a mission to advocate for, coordinate, and support the development efforts of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), UN-OHRLLS plays a crucial role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing the multifaceted challenges these countries encounter.

Advocating for Vulnerable Nations:

UN-OHRLLS serves as the focal point within the United Nations system for advocating for and coordinating support to LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS. Through strategic partnerships and diplomatic engagements, it ensures that the voices of these countries are heard loud and clear in global development discussions and decision-making processes. By amplifying their concerns and priorities, UN-OHRLLS contributes to a more inclusive and equitable international agenda, where the needs of the most vulnerable are given due consideration.

Supporting Sustainable Development Goals:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a roadmap for global development, aiming to address key challenges such as poverty, hunger, and climate change. UN-OHRLLS plays a pivotal role in supporting LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS in achieving these ambitious goals. By providing technical assistance, facilitating partnerships, and mobilizing resources, UN-OHRLLS empowers these countries to make meaningful progress towards sustainable development. From enhancing healthcare and education to promoting economic resilience and environmental sustainability, UN-OHRLLS works tirelessly to ensure that no country is left behind in the pursuit of the SDGs.

Challenges Faced by LDCs:

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) confront a myriad of challenges that threaten their socio-economic well-being. Poverty, hunger, and inadequate access to basic services such as healthcare and education are pervasive issues that hinder their development efforts. UN-OHRLLS recognizes the urgent need to address these fundamental challenges and works closely with LDCs to implement targeted interventions that improve the lives of millions of people. By focusing on poverty alleviation, food security, and human capital development, UN-OHRLLS aims to create a more prosperous and equitable future for LDCs.

Addressing Geographical Constraints of LLDCs:

Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) face additional obstacles due to their geographical isolation, which hampers their access to markets and trade opportunities. The lack of direct access to the sea imposes higher transportation costs and creates logistical challenges that impede economic growth and development. UN-OHRLLS recognizes the importance of addressing the unique needs of LLDCs and advocates for measures to enhance their connectivity and promote regional integration. By investing in infrastructure development, trade facilitation, and transit cooperation, UN-OHRLLS seeks to unlock the potential of LLDCs and promote inclusive growth.

Safeguarding the Future of SIDS:

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the frontline of climate change, natural disasters, and economic shocks. Their small size, remoteness, and limited resources make them particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation and external threats. UN-OHRLLS understands the urgent need to support SIDS in building resilience and adapting to the impacts of climate change. By promoting sustainable resource management, disaster risk reduction, and renewable energy initiatives, UN-OHRLLS works to safeguard the future of SIDS and ensure their sustainable development.

Harnessing Innovation for Structural Transformation in Least Developed Countries: Second LDC Future Forum”

The world faces significant challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with Least Developed Countries (LDCs) particularly at risk of being left behind. Realising how urgent it is to advance more quickly, the UN Office of the High Representative for Landlocked Developing Countries, Small Island Developing States, and Least Developed Countries (OHRLLS), working together with Finland, is organizing the Second LDC Future Forum in Helsinki, Finland, on March 5-6, 2024.

This forum builds upon the success of the inaugural event held in 2021, which focused on leveraging science, technology, and innovation (STI) for sustainable development. The upcoming forum will center on the crucial role of innovation in driving structural transformation within LDCs.


The Second LDC Future Forum aims to explore how innovation, digitalization, and technology can be harnessed to foster structural transformation and sustainable development in LDCs. Key sectors such as education, job creation, agro-processing, and e-commerce will be addressed through panel discussions. The forum seeks to facilitate knowledge sharing, draw evidence-based policy recommendations, and strengthen the science-policy interface by bringing together researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

Approach and Participants:

The forum will provide a platform for policymakers, researchers, development partners, civil society, and the private sector from LDCs and beyond to exchange innovative solutions and best practices. Panel discussions will be informed by robust research and will include country case studies to enable peer learning.


The Second LDC Future Forum is co-organized by OHRLLS and Finland, with support from partner organizations including the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), OECD Development Center, Ferdi, UNICEF Innocenti, and the UN Technology Bank for LDCs.


Key findings from the forum, along with policy recommendations, will be compiled into a report and policy briefs, which will be made available on the LDC Future Forum website. The outcomes of the forum will also feed into the 2024 UN Summit of the Future and the Third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC3), contributing to the development of the Pact for the Future and the new program of action for LLDCs, many of which are also LDCs.

In summary, the Second LDC Future Forum represents a significant opportunity to drive forward the agenda of structural transformation and sustainable development in LDCs through innovation and collaboration.

Raising Awareness and Mobilizing Support:

UN-OHRLLS plays a vital role in raising awareness about the unique challenges faced by LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS. Through advocacy campaigns, policy dialogues, and knowledge-sharing initiatives, UN-OHRLLS seeks to mobilize international support and solidarity for these vulnerable nations. By highlighting the interconnectedness of global development issues and the importance of collective action, UN-OHRLLS inspires stakeholders to step up their efforts and contribute to positive change in the world’s most vulnerable regions.


In a world fraught with inequality and uncertainty, UN-OHRLLS stands as a beacon of hope for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States. By advocating for their interests, supporting their development efforts, and raising awareness about their challenges, UN-OHRLLS plays a crucial role in advancing global development and building a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. As we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind, the importance of UN-OHRLLS’ work cannot be overstated. Together, let us join hands to create a world where every nation has the opportunity to thrive and prosper.