Statement at the 2020 HLPF Side Event: UN Roadmap for Accelerated Implementation of the VPoA for LLDCs in the Decade for Action and COVID-19 Era

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

9 July 2020 
New York, USA

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ambassador Umarov, we certainly meet frequently virtually! Thank you so much for co-organizing this side event with UN-OHRLLS. 

I wish to express my gratitude to our President of the General Assembly to make the time to be with us. Thank you.

My task is to give you an overview of the UN Roadmap for Accelerated Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action. 

My task is to brief you on the process of its development. 

The Chair requested that a Roadmap be developed.

OHRLLS  was designated to prepare the document in close consultation with other parts of the UN system and other organizations. 

We worked to develop the initial framework for the document.  In April,  we contacted all the members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Group on the Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action. 

We sought their organizations’  inputs into the Roadmap in regard to concrete deliverables they plan to undertake to support the implementation of the VPoA in its remaining five years. 

A meeting of the inter-agency consultative group was held two weeks ago with the main objective to discuss the revised consolidated Roadmap.

This has meant coordination with some 40 different organizations from the UN system, with multilateral and regional development banks, intergovernmental and other organizations. 

I express my sincere appreciation to all contributing entities for their strong collaboration and partnership.

Some fine tuning of the Roadmap is still taking place.

I can report that we have gone from the initial idea to producing a solid comprehensive document in just under sixth months.

Distinguished delegates, 

Many stakeholders, partners are involved in the implementation of the VPoA.

They include Member States, of course the LLDCs, transit countries, development partners as well as the UN system and international and regional organizations, private sector and civil society.

The Roadmap is a strategic commitment for the UN system, other international organizations and a framework for partnerships, with measurable deliverables. 

An extraordinary number of entities participated in this process and contributed to the elaboration of the Roadmap.

I read this as a sign of strong support of the UN system and other international and regional organizations towards the implementation of the VPoA and helping address the challenges of LLDCs. 

It is now up to the Member States, the LLDCs, the transit countries, with support of development partners, to lead the accelerated implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action. 

I will now draw your attention to the key elements of the Roadmap that was already shared with you. 

The Roadmap has five main parts.

Part 1 sets out the guiding principles for the UN system and other relevant international and regional organizations in their efforts to implement this Roadmap. 

These include: 

  • Enhancing coordination, building synergies across the UN system and working in the spirit of Delivering as One; 
  • Leveraging the UN Development System Reform, including the reinvigorated UN Resident Coordinator system and the revamping of regional assets;
  • Integrating LLDC priorities in broad sustainable development processes;
  • Strengthening innovative partnerships with Governments, private sector, financial institutions, other organizations and civil society; and;
  • Promoting good practices and experience sharing.


Part 2 of the Roadmap focuses on key asks from policy makers in LLDCs, transit countries and development partners, the private sector, multilateral and regional development banks, and the UN system and other organizations. 

These cover what we call cross-cutting areas where progress would help address the structural challenges of the LLDCs. It is about leveraging high-impact opportunities across priority areas. 

The issues are cross- cutting and thus all international community stakeholders have a role to play in the accelerated implementation of the VPoA.

Part 3 of the Roadmap focuses on key and urgent actions to be supported by the UN system. 

These cover the thematic areas of the VPoA, such as transit, trade and transport facilitation, energy and ICT development, structural economic transformation, cooperation between LLDCs and transit countries and means of implementation. 

Additional areas include actions to enhance broadly speaking resilience of LLDCs. 

This covers adverse impacts of climate change, natural disasters and environmental degradation.

It argues for the strengthening of the International Think Tank for LLDCs; helping LLDCs deal with the impacts of COVID-19; supporting LLDCs to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls; and developing and coordinating various stakeholder networks towards implementation of the VPoA. 

From there evolves then part 4.

Here, we present a detailed mapping of activities as submitted by and to be implemented by the UN system and other international and regional organizations. 

Some of the activities have been identified as proposals. It means that these activities need to be further conceptualized, developed or funded. 

The last section of the Roadmap covers implementation. 

The Roadmap argues for regular reviews of its implementation. These reviews will be undertaken in the context of the inter-agency group. 

The progress in implementation of the Roadmap will be reported in the annual report of the Secretary-General and shared with Member States. 

In summary, this is a living document to be regularly updated. It is a living document to leverage emerging,  new opportunities. 

Distinguished delegates, 

We are halfway into the implementation of the VPoA. 

We now entered the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030.

I think the Roadmap is a timely and relevant tool for all of us not just to  deliver on the SDGs but also as a basis for the upcoming ten-year review of the implementation of the VPoA.

We all live in extraordinary times. 

It sure has not made our task any easier! What is clear is that we must all stand together in solidarity. 

OHRLLS will continue to advocate for increased support to the LLDC Group.

This advocacy now must include action to respond to the manifold impacts of COVID-19.

Rest assured, that we will do our utmost to promote accelerated and strengthened implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action in synergy with the goals of the 2030 Agenda. 

I thank you.