I thank Dr. [Thongloun] Sisoulith for his leadership as Chair of the Group and for his dedication to advancing the well-being of people in landlocked developing countries.
I am pleased to take part in this Ministerial Meeting as you prepare for the Ten-Year Review Conference of the Almaty Programme of Action next year.
The special challenges of landlocked developing countries have long been recognized by the United Nations in a number of ways, including through the establishment of the Office of the High Representative. The needs of your members also figure prominently in the Almaty Programme of Action, the Millennium Development Goals and the Rio+20 outcome.
As I stated in my Report to the General Assembly, much has been accomplished since the establishment of the Almaty Programme ten years ago. We are seeing concrete actions by landlocked and transit developing countries, partner countries, international and regional institutions.
However, much remains to be done.
LLDCs continue to face many challenges. These include constraints in reaching global markets, significant financing gaps and the need to improve trade facilitation and integration into the world economy.
The economies of landlocked developing countries remain fragile and vulnerable to external shocks such as the global economic crisis and climate change.
Next year’s Review Conference is an opportunity to comprehensively and critically assess key objectives of the Almaty Programme and develop a new, action-oriented strategic framework for the next decade.
It can also point the way toward a new global partnership for development, involving LLDCs, transit developing countries, and development partners -- including international organizations, the private sector and academia.
As we address these issues, there is a deeper understanding of several crucial ingredients to success:
First, policies should be results-oriented and broad-based – taking into consideration broader development issues, such as structural transformation of economies, diversification of exports and enhancement of productive capacities. LLDCs can also explore avenues to reap the maximum benefits of the emerging service sector to better integrate into the world economy.
Second, LLDCs should strengthen partnerships and take particular advantage of South-South and Triangular cooperation and investment.
Third, we must continue to work for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations. A development-oriented outcome would help LLDCs increase their market share of value added products in the global marketplace.
Finally, the concerns and perspectives of landlocked developing countries must be taken into account as we work to craft the post-2015 development agenda.
My report “A Life of Dignity for All” provides an important reference. I have been urging Member States to rise to this moment and come together around one global development agenda with sustainable development at its core.
Our vision for post-2015 and the transformative actions to implement it converge closely with the development priorities included in the Almaty Programme of Action, especially with respect to such crucial issues as productive capacity, food security and rural development, trade, human and social development, financing, capacity-building, and governance at all levels.
On all of these challenges so crucial to the governments and people of Landlocked Developing Countries, you have my strong support and the full commitment of the UN system.
Thank you again for your leadership and commitment.
I wish you a productive meeting.