Thirty-two of the world’s landlocked countries with a population of about 440 million, face an array of challenges mainly associated with their lack of direct territorial access to the sea and remoteness from world markets. Their dependence on other countries for international trade via transit is an element that adds on to these various challenges.
To address these particular constraints, there has been an increase in recognition of landlocked developing countries and their specific needs at the United Nations. The Almaty Programme of Action: Addressing the Special Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework For Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and the Almaty Ministerial Declaration, is amongst the first steps adopted in addressing the needs of landlocked developing countries.The Vienna Programme of Action, the new holistic document centered upon addressing the challenges faced by landlocked countries, aims to contribute to the eradication of poverty stemming from their landlockedness, through the implementation of specific actions in the priority areas of the renowned document.
Six Priorities in the Vienna Programme of Action
- Priority 1: Fundamental transit policy issues
- Priority 2: Infrastructure development and maintenance
- (a) Transport infrastructure
- (b) Energy and information and communications technology infrastructure
- Priority 3: International trade and trade facilitation
- (a) International trade
- (b) Trade facilitation
- Priority 4: Regional integration and cooperation
- Priority 5: Structural economic transformation
- Priority 6: Means of implementation
The main innovative feature of the Vienna Programme of Action is the particular focus to the development and expansion of efficient transit systems and transport development, enhancement of competitiveness, expansion of trade, structural transformation, regional cooperation, and the promotion of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development to reduce poverty, build resilience, bridge economic and social gaps and ultimately help transform those countries into land-linked countries.