Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Fifteenth Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries

Honourable Ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my honour and pleasure to address the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries. I thank you for your invitation.

As you know, countries in special situations, including landlocked developing countries, feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Their specific challenges in pursuit of sustainable development are recognized across the Agenda. I commend LLDC Governments for your energetic engagements during the negotiations on SDGs.

My Department had the honour of servicing the negotiations and we heard the powerful voices of LLDC delegates throughout the consultation process.

Indeed, thanks to these voices, the international community, in recognition of the unique challenges facing LLDCs and other countries in special situations, reaffirmed its commitment to provide dedicated support to them.

The theme of your meeting today, on harnessing coherence in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Vienna Programme of Action, is very timely.

Harnessing synergies in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Vienna Programme of Action, will undoubtedly contribute to the enhanced impact of these action plans.

Indeed, this is a priority for the High-level Political Forum, which is tasked to give dedicated consideration to countries in special situation.

This past July the HLPF considered how to support LDCs and LLDcs in aligning their national development with the 2030 Agenda, the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Vienna Programme of Action.

In that regard, I would also suggest aligning the 2030 Agenda and Vienna Programme of Action with Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as the Outcome Document of the UNCTAD XIV and the Geneva Declaration adopted by the Fifth Meeting of Trade Ministers of LLDCs earlier this year.

All these agreements can and should complement each other for enhanced impact. Coherence in implementation calls for a change in mind-set, and a commitment to coordination.

By no means will this be an easy task.

The UN Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs met this past Sunday, and coordination was very much at the centre of the discussion.

We agreed that if the UN system is to respond effectively to the demands from Member States for assistance in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, we – the UN family – must work better together to harness synergies and tailor our support to each country’s specific circumstances.

Only then can we provide meaningful support to Member States in coherent implementation.

I can reassure you that the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has made renewed efforts in this direction.  We work very closely with the Office of High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDSs under able leadership of my colleague Under-Secretary General Mr. Acharya.

Our collaboration covers a range of issues.  Let me just give you the latest example of our cooperation in support of LLDCs.

We are co-organizing with the Government of Bolivia and OHRLLS a high level meeting on sustainable transport of LLDCs in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on 13 and 14 October.

This meeting will contribute to meeting the unique transport challenges of LLDCs.

The outcome of this meeting will be an input to the Secretary-General’s Global Sustainable Transport Conference that will take place on 26 and 27 November in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

We hope your Governments will be represented at both events.

In conclusion, I wish to reassure you of our full commitment to LLDCs and we look forward to your recommendations and guidance on harnessing coherence of all these agendas, especially 2030 Agenda and the Vienna Programme of Action. We stand ready to support you in this endeavour.

Thank you.

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