|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
84th Meeting (PM)
General Assembly Adopts Resolution to Convene Second Conference on Landlocked
Developing Countries for 10-Year Review of Almaty Declaration, Action Plan
The General Assembly today adopted a resolution entitled the “Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries”, by which a 10-year review of the Almaty Declaration and Action Programme would be convened from 3 to 5 November, and by which preparatory sessions on 12 and 13 June and 2 and 3 October in the run-up to the event would be held.
Introduced by Dayana Rios (Bolivia) on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, the resolution’s revised text also contains details about the upcoming meeting’s Bureau and fleshes out the composition, arrangements and aims of its Preparatory Committee. It encourages the active participation at the highest possible level of all Member States, in particular landlocked and transit developing countries as well as donor countries and organizations of the United Nations system.
Further to the resolution, the Assembly determined the nature of participation for major groups and non-governmental organizations, agreeing that non-governmental organizations not in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council but whose work was relevant might participate as observers.
In related provisions, the resolution requests the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States to serve as the United Nations focal point. It invites the Secretary-General to take measures, within existing resources, to ensure effective, efficient and timely preparations, and Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, major groups and other donors to contribute to the trust fund set up to support related activities.
Following the adoption, Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota (Zambia) said the text was of great significance to landlocked developing countries. The 2003 Almaty Plan of Action had played its part in improving the situation in those countries, and despite differences in levels of progress, had helped to upgrade and expand transport structures and infrastructure, and to develop laws, procedures and practices. Those efforts had begun to yield results, especially in reducing the time required to import and export goods.
However, she added, challenges remained, including still-inadequate transport structures and other “missing links”. Landlocked developing countries also had limited productive capabilities amid a backdrop of a declining industrial base. Global strains, such as rising food and fuel prices, as well as climate change and the economic and financial crisis, only exacerbated the difficulties. Support for those countries, therefore, was of utmost importance.
She expressed hope that the upcoming Conference would undertake a comprehensive appraisal of the action plan’s implementation, share lessons learned and identify obstacles, as well as accompanying initiatives to combat them. It should also address infrastructure and development issues and transit and policy frameworks, among others, in order to enable the countries concerned to participate fully in global trade. Finally, the review should address broader issues, such as export diversification and improving the productive capacities and resilience of the landlocked developing countries.
The Almaty Declaration and Programme of Action, resulting from the 2003 International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation, seek to minimize the marginalization and enhance the integration of those countries into the global economy.
At the outset of today’s meeting, the General Assembly President announced that Vanuatu had made the payment necessary to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.
The General Assembly will meet again at a time to be announced.
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