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

Closing remarks
High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Transport in Landlocked Developing Countries

Your Excellency, Mr. David Choquehuanca Cespedes, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Your Excellency, Mr. Milton Claros, Minister of Public Works and Services and Housing,
Your Excellency, Mr Brian Mushimba, Minister of Transport and Communications of Zambia,
Under-Secretary-General Mr. Gyan Acharya,
Distinguished representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This has been a very constructive and productive meeting, reflecting the wide range of perspectives gathered here, including both landlocked developing countries and transit countries.

For me, the discussion over these last two days has demonstrated the value of the Vienna Progamme of Action and the inclusive and transformative nature of the 2030 Agenda.

The 2030 Agenda is a universal agenda, set by the global family, with a strong focus on leaving no one behind.

That applies to countries in special situations, including landlocked developing countries.
Sustainable transport is a critical foundation for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals.

Sustainable Transport is transport that is safe and accessible, that minimizes the climate impacts, and that serves the vulnerable communities —these are universal values advanced in the SDGs.

But the Agenda is also defined by national ownership.

Individual countries and regions will shape the path they take to achieve this universal vision.

During these last two days, the dialogue was enriched by descriptions of the specific national circumstances that each of you face.

But we heard many common themes and challenges. The importance of becoming “land linked” instead of landlocked was a very potent idea.

The first session explored the ways that this process is closely tied to advancing SDGs.

There was a clear sense that the challenges are too complex for one country or one organization to address alone, and so “networks, linkages and partnerships” will be critical.

In Session 2, participants spoke of the “hard” infrastructure needs growing every year and the simultaneous needs for what participants called the “software.”

This includes improved regulations, more efficient practices at border crossings, and enhanced technical capacity at the national and regional levels.

In Session 3, we heard how the current regulatory environment is undermined by contradictory bilateral and regional agreements.

Participants spoke of key conventions and agreements that can help to rationalize and harmonize the regulatory landscape.

The needs are great, and in Session 4, we heard about the full range of traditional and non-traditional sources of financing and technical support that is available to LLDCs.

In that session, and indeed throughout the discussion, it was clear that while the private sector is an important partner, governments should remain in the driving seat, determining policies and investments according to the best interests of their people.

In session 5, we looked forward.

The international community has become increasingly committed to promoting sustainable transport, and everyone recognizes the importance of pursuing the sustainable transport agenda as part of the broader sustainable development agenda.

There are many avenues for moving this agenda forward but, again, it will be critical that we maintain national ownership and international synergies at the same time.

Meetings like this one—and the Conference in Turkmenistan next month—help to build and illuminate the links between the international, the national, and local or city levels.

We hear about national and local experiences, good practices that can provide lessons to other countries and cities.

In many cases, these lessons can give rise to concrete partnerships and initiatives.

The exchange of views and experiences, the enhanced understanding of policy challenges, and the agreement on the way ahead – these results would not have been achieved without your active contributions.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to conclude by again congratulating you all on these rewarding deliberations and by expressing our profound appreciation to the government and people of Bolivia, who have been such generous hosts.

And I look forward to seeing you in Ashgabat next month.

Thank you.

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