Remarks at the Ambassadorial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries

Remarks by Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

22 January 2020 
New York, USA

Ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to thank you for inviting me and for sharing your vision and priorities for the next 2 years of your tenure as Chair of the LLDCs Group.

I would like to commend you for coming up with such a comprehensive set of priorities. These priorities will serve as an important guideline for the group as well as my Office in carrying out our activities in 2020 & 2021. 

As already highlighted by earlier presenters, the comprehensive High-level Midterm review of the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs identified achievements and areas where more action is needed. 

We now need to actively follow-up and implement the outcome of the Midterm Review and the Vienna Programme of Action. I note that the priorities presented by Ambassador Umarov already captures the key issues highlighted in the Political Declaration and the Vienna Programme of Action and will definitely assist in advancing the implementation. 

I would like to highlight some of the OHRLLS activities that we will undertake to support the implementation of the priorities of the Chair. 

OHRLLS will undertake analytical work related to the priorities of the Vienna Programme of Action to provide evidence-based support to the LLDC group and to be used in the preparation of the report of the Secretary General on the Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action. In this regards we are currently preparing a substantive report on “Improving Transport Connectivity for LLDCs and Building of Resilient Transport Infrastructure to Support Accelerated Progress Towards the SDGs.”

We will organize important thematic meetings on relevant key issues of interest to the group such as transit and transport, international trade, trade facilitation, Information Communication Technology, regional integration, and climate change. This year we will provide the substantive and organizational support to the preparation of: Ministerial Transport Conference for LLDCs to be hosted by the Government of Turkmenistan on the 26th & 27th March; and the LLDC Ministerial Meeting on trade also to be hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan during the margins of the WTO Ministerial Meeting in June.

We will use opportunities presented by major meetings to articulate the developmental needs of LLDCs including through organizing side-events during major regional and global meetings. In this regard we plan to organize side events at the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference to be held in China 5th – 7th May; and at the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference to be hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan in Nur Sultan from the 8th to 11th June. 

We will provide substantive support to the group in the ongoing follow-up processes to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, such as the HLPF, the Financing for Development Forum, BBNJ, and QCPR. It is crucial that LLDCs’ concerns and needs are expressed in these fora, as they are essential to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.

OHRLLS will organize capacity building activities, facilitate exchange of experiences and peer learning among LLDCs and transit developing countries. This year we are organizing a training session of policy-makers from Ministries of Transport of LLDCs and transit countries on how to promote transport connectivity and development of resilient transport infrastructure and preparation of bankable infrastructure projects. The training is being organized in collaboration with relevant partners and the Ministry of Transport of China. 

We will undertake and support the Chair on advocacy activities for enhanced international support towards the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action, the outcome of its High-level Midterm review and the 2030 Agenda. 

We will support the Group to highlight their priorities, as a part of the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations this year. 

OHRLLS will continue to organize interagency meeting to mobilize UN support to implement the VPoA and the outcome of the Midterm Review. OHRLLS will also support the Chair in organizing all the thematic consultations with the UN and other international organizations. 

Excellencies, this will indeed be a very busy year.

I wish to once again assure you of the readiness of OHRLLS to extend all necessary support to implement your strategic priorities and thank you for the support that your group has provided and continue to provide to my Office in its efforts to better serve you. 

I thank you for your attention.