First Inter-Agency Conference on Local Economic Development (LED)

The first Inter-Agency Conference on Local Economic Development (LED) started today at the Centre. Over the next three days, the Conference, organized by the International Labour Office (ILO) with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will give a taste of different LED approaches applied by a number of bilateral and multilateral development agencies*. It aims to promote better knowledge sharing and partnership building to boost local economies, create employment and reduce poverty. The event is held in conjunction with Terra Madre, the important festival of the world’s food communities, which is also taking place in Turin from 23 to 27 October.

Welcoming the participants, the Centre’s Director of Training, Antonio Graziosi, stressed out the importance of knowledge sharing to make development a success: "I’m happy to see a wide range of international agencies represented here with the common goal of learning from each other’s good and bad practices".

In his opening remarks, David Lamotte (ILO Geneva) said: "I particularly welcome the participants to the parallel ITC-ILO course on the rights and development of indigenous and tribal peoples: a rights-based approach to LED, in fact, means fair and inclusive jobs and equality, not only economic growth. Such issues can only be tackled at local level".

Sergio Arzeni (OECD) emphasized the importance of the link with Terra Madre: "Both events put the spotlight on good local development practices over junk food. At OECD – he added - we work mainly on economic analysis, whereas the ILO is also involved in technical assistance and training activities: we definitely need to work hand-in-hand to capitalize on our respective assets. Together, we should aim at making the market more transparent, the capital more efficient, the development more sustainable".

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The programme includes subjects such as decentralization, industrial development, public-private dialogue, skills development, "green jobs", food and agriculture, and the use the use of Information and Communication Technologies in support of local development. A dedicated LED Bazaar will be the show-ground for best practices and innovative products.

The conference is being attended by some 130 participants from 50 countries. It will be highly interactive and include working group sessions as well as plenary debates, for three days of intensive and hopefully fruitful work.

For further information: www.ledknowledge.org

* United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF); United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT); United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); German Technical Cooperation (GTZ); Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

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