23/06/2003
Press Release
DEV/2419



Preparatory Committee for Landlocked

Developing Countries Conference

2nd Meeting (PM)


PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CONFERENCE

BEGINS DISCUSSION OF DRAFT OUTCOME DOCUMENT


Calls for Specific Action in Transit Policy,

Infrastructure Development, Trade Facilitation, among Others


The Preparatory Committee for the first-ever world conference directed at the specific problems of landlocked developing countries this afternoon began its chapter-by-chapter consideration of the draft outcome document of the Conference, which will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 28-29 August.


The Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and the Donor Community on Transit Transport began its week-long first session at Headquarters this morning, and focused on the main priorities facing the international community in addressing the needs of the countries lacking access to seas, including fundamental transit policy issues, infrastructure development, trade facilitation, international trade, international support measures and implementation and review issues.


When he addressed the morning session, the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and Secretary-General of the Conference, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, said that the draft outcome document (A/CONF.202/PC/L.1) had been drawn up on the basis of a wide variety of resources, including General Assembly resolutions; the 1995 Global Framework on transit transport cooperation; and the outcome of three regional meetings.  Also used in the preparation of the draft were a large number of reports and studies prepared by the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), regional commissions and relevant international organizations.


The document outlines the specific needs of landlocked developing countries and proposes specific actions that need to be taken in order to build efficient transport systems, reduce the costs of transit, modernize existing facilities and build new ones, and develop rail, road, air, river and sea communications.  Trade facilitation measures presented in the document seek to simplify and rationalize procedures, standardize facilities and harmonize laws and regulations to reduce costs and reduce delays.  Also considered in the draft are international support measures, including financial and technical assistance, development of alternative cost-effective routes and the establishment of training programmes in such areas as customs documentation and transit procedures.


The Preparatory Committee will continue its work at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 24 June, when it will hold a high-level panel discussion focusing on transit transportation systems and the impact of geographical disadvantages on the socio-economic development of landlocked developing countries.


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