Breaking Geographical Barriers: Leveraging the Role of Multilateralism to Achieve VPoA and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in LLDCs

Tuesday, 28 July 2020 - 8:30am to 10:00am

The webinar will provide an opportunity to contribute to the global conversation on “creating the future we want by 2045” and to leverage multilateralism in accelerating the VPoA and SDGs in LLDCs.



This year, the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that the UN is hosting the world’s largest global conversation on creating the future we want by 2045, when the UN celebrates its centennial. The Theme for the year is “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”. The UN had invited all the stakeholders to share their thoughts on the current state of the world and is asking us all how we can work together to improve our world so that everyone, everywhere, can live their best lives. The Landlocked Developing countries (LLDCs) voice in this global conversation is important to ensure that they are not left behind, including in the implementation of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030 and during the period beyond 2030.

Lack of territorial access to the sea, isolation and remoteness from world markets and high transport and transit costs impose constraints on the overall socio-economic development and trade competitiveness of the 32 LLDCs. The international community adopted in 2014 the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024 to address these challenges. The VPoA, which is also an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Development, offers a holistic approach to improving the integration of LLDCs into the global economy through the following six priority areas: Fundamental Transit Policy Issues; Infrastructure Development and Maintenance; International Trade and Trade Facilitation; Regional Integration and Cooperation, Structural Economic Transformation, and Means of Implementation. The full and effective implementation of the VPoA is critical for LLDCs in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Whilst some progress has been made to implement the VPoA, there are challenges that need to be addressed to accelerate the implementation of the VPoA in order to meaningfully improve the welfare of the lives of over 500 million people living in the LLDCs. The COVID-19 pandemic could also reverse progress so far achieved by LLDCs in the implementation of the VPoA and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The pandemic has worsened existing vulnerabilities as LLDCs face a decline in investment, trade, remittances, growing debt burdens, and severely reduced fiscal space. Enhanced international cooperation is fundamental in dealing with the pandemic and addressing its devastating aftermath.



  • To provide a platform for LLDCs and relevant stakeholders to engage and contribute to the global conversation on “creating the future we want by 2045”.
  • To identify megatrends and major challenges before humanity in the coming decades,
  • To discuss concrete and effective ways to leverage multilateralism to accelerating the achievement of the VPoA goals and the SDGs in LLDCs.
  • To highlight how multilateralism can be re-invigorated to better address global, regional and national challenges faced by the most vulnerable and amplify their voices and underline the role and contribution of the United Nations in this regard.



The webinar will feature: 

  • Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States;
  • H.E. Mr. Kairat Umarov, PR of Kazakhstan and Chair of Group of LLDCs; 
  • Mr Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary;
  • Honorable Dr. Unity Dow, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Botswana (TBC);
  • H.E. Mr. Antonio Rivas Palacios, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paraguay (TBC);
  • Mr. Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization;  
  • Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, UNITAR and 
  • Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact(TBC)



An official summary will be issued as an outcome of this meeting.



Co-organized by: Chair of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Office of the High Representative of Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Islands Developing States (OHRLLS)



Member States; relevant UN system entities, relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations; academia, and private sector.






Photo: Tondikorey, a small village located directly on the shores of the river Niger, Niger. OCHA/Ivo Brandau