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HLPF Side Event: “Leaving no country behind: Sustainable industrialization and infrastructure to support Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)”

20 July, 2016 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Concept Note

Background and Theme:

The priority areas of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA), namely i) fundamental transit policy issues, ii) infrastructure development and maintenance, iii) international trade and trade facilitation, iv) regional integration, v) structural economic transformation and vi) means of implementation reflect a deeper understanding of the challenges that LLDCs face that prevent them from achieving sustainable development.

The theme of ‘Leaving no country behind’ (adapted from the 2016 HLPF theme of “Leaving no one behind”) is very relevant for the 32 LLDCs. Their marginalization in the global economy is exacerbated by their geographical handicaps, including small size, remoteness and isolation from major international markets and prohibitively high trade transaction costs. These challenges are further exacerbated by inadequate infrastructure and constraints on structural transformation and economic diversification of their economies. LLDCs heavily rely on natural resource-based commodities thereby making them highly vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations.

UNIDO’s commitment to support LLDCs’ economic structural transformation has never been stronger with regard to the adopted SDG 9. Activities that encourage resilient infrastructure and ensure inclusive and sustainable industrialization range from tailored technical assistance, policy advice and capacity building that support an economic base switch towards a broad resilient economy integrated in global value chains and international markets. Partnership creation, between LLDCs and transit countries, partnerships between public and private sectors, partnerships with development partners as well as partnerships within the framework of South-South and triangular cooperation, stands at the core of this development approach.

There cannot be long-term development without placing industrialization at the center of LLDCs’ economic transformation, and industrialization will not happen without addressing the issue of infrastructure deficit. Industrialization will allow LLDCs to achieve economic diversification, improve value addition and become more competitive in international markets for goods and services other than primary commodities. Establishment of integrated, multi-modal, sustainable and efficient transit transport systems is a critical element in this endeavor. Similarly strong ICT and energy infrastructure is a key enabler for achieving industrialization. The Vienna Programme of Action priority areas on infrastructure development and maintenance, and structural economic transformation underscore the importance of SDG 9 for the LLDCs.

The UNIDO-OHRLLS-Group of Friends of LLDCs side-event will address the following questions:

  • What are the key elements to develop adequate transit transport infrastructure networks, energy and ICT infrastructure to support sustainable industrialization in LLDCs?
  • What are the experiences that have worked well for LLDCs in promoting infrastructure development for sustainable industrialization?
  • How can different partnerships enhance mobilization of resources necessary for supporting infrastructure development for sustainable industrialization in LLDCs
  • What are the key policy recommendations to overcome challenges arising from landlockedness in order to promote achievement of SDG 9 and overall achievement of sustainable development by the LLDCs and ensure they are not left behind?

Expected Outcome:

The event will increase awareness and share key policy tools on the industrialisation-infrastructure development nexus for achieving sustainable development in the LLDCs, the opportunities and challenges thereof, and policy recommendations.

Format and Programme:

The event will feature an open panel discussion among panellists representing different stakeholders from the UN, other international organizations and academia followed by an interactive dialogue with members of the audience. Participants will include Member States, United Nations organizations, as well as representatives from academia, the private sector and civil society.

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Moderator / Opening Remarks:

Opening Remarks and Keynote Statement:

  • H.E. Mr. Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN and Co-Chair of the Group of Friends of LLDCs
  • Mr. LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)



20 July, 2016
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm




UN Headquarters, Conference Room 3
405 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017 United States
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