Ambassadorial retreat in preparation of the Second United Nations Conference on LLDCs – 9-10 May 2014

9-10 May 2014 Background A recent study published by OHRLLS entitled ‘The Development Economics of Landlockedness’ revealed that landlockedness impacts both economic and non-economic dimensions of development. It estimated that development of LLDCs is on average 20% lower than what it would have been were the countries not landlocked. In this context, the strengthening of international partnership and support to LLDCs is critical to overcome the special challenges that LLDCs face. The ten-year review conference in November 2014 presents a good opportunity for the international community to address these problems. Preparations for the Second United Nations Conference on the Landlocked Developing Countries: In its resolution 66/214, the United Nations General Assembly decided to hold a comprehensive ten-year review conference of the Almaty Programme of Action in 2014. The Assembly also decided that the conference should be preceded by regional and global, as well as thematic preparations. The comprehensive ten-year review conference of the Almaty Programme of Action is also known as the second United Nations conference on landlocked developing countries. The conference will have the following substantive agenda as decided by the General Assembly in its resolutions 67/222: (a) To undertake a comprehensive appraisal of the implementation of 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; (b) To identify effective international, regional, subregional and national policies in the area of international trade and transit transport cooperation and to review the current situation of transit transport systems in the light of new and emerging challenges, partnerships and opportunities and the means to address them; (c) To reaffirm the global commitment to addressing the special development needs of and the challenges faced by the landlocked developing countries as called for at major United Nations conferences and summits; (d) To mobilize international support and action by and in favour of the landlocked developing countries and formulate and adopt a renewed development partnership framework for the next decade. The Second UN Conference on LLDCs will provide the international community with an opportunity to renew its commitment to a global partnership with the LLDCs to enhance and strengthen international support measures in their favor. It is important for the international community to come up with a new results-oriented partnership framework embedded in a broader vision for LLDCs’ sustainable development and economic growth for the next decade. Progress has been achieved in the preparations for the Conference. Twenty LLDCs have submitted national reports which highlighted progress made in the implementation of the APoA and identified best practices as well as remaining and new challenges. All the three regional reviews (Euro-Asia, Africa and Latin America) were successfully organized in 2013. Fourteen pre-conference events were successfully organized in 2012 and 2013. The outcome documents of the regional meetings and thematic pre-conference events have presented an assessment of the implementation of the Almaty Programme and provided valuable proposals for the next development decade. They have highlighted that while improved trade and transport remain crucial for greater integration of LLDCs into the international market, there is a need to address LLDCs issues in a more coherent and holistic manner, ensuring that broader aspects of development are also addressed. Efforts to improve transit transport infrastructure and trade facilitation need to be accompanied by efforts to build productive capacity, promote value addition, industrialization and diversification of economies, as well technology transfer, and increased use of information and communication technologies, increased regional cooperation, and resilience building to withstand external shocks including the effects of climate change, desertification, land degradation and drought. Objective: The drafting of a new programme of action needs to start before the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Second UN Conference on the LLDCs to be held 12 to 13 June 2014. The main objective of the retreat is to encourage an informal exchange of views and building of a common agenda among member states about their expectations for a new Programme of Action, in particular, the key substantive elements for the outcome document. The new PoA should be based on an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the APoA and take into account lessons learned and best practices as well as current research on the factors that can contribute to structural transformation of LLDCs and their achievement of a sustainable and inclusive economic growth that delivers decent jobs, accelerates poverty reduction and leads to the achievement of higher levels of wellbeing of their people. The reports of the pre-conference events, regional review meetings, national reports and other material would serve as background material. The meeting will also analyze emerging issues that have uniquely affected the development of LLDCs, for example, how the geographical challenges have set back the achievement of internationally agreed development goals in LLDCs. Other challenges include the food, energy, economic and financial crises, climate change and the changes in the international aid architecture. In a similar vein, the meeting will review the opportunities that have arisen during the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action. Based on the review and analysis, the meeting will identify priorities for a renewed framework. The effectiveness of the mechanisms for the implementation of the Almaty Programme, follow-up, monitoring and review at national, regional and global levels would also be considered, including lessons learnt and options for a revision of the existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms. Participants for the retreat will include Ambassadors of: the LLDCs, transit countries and donor partners. A limited number of representatives of key UN and other international agencies will be invited as resource persons. Expected outcome The Meeting is expected to come up with concrete ideas and key elements for the preparation of the draft outcome document of the Second UN Conference on LLDCs. Programme