On 24 September 2010, the Foreign Ministers of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) held their ninth Annual Meeting in New York in the sidelines of the 65th session of the General Assembly general debate. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency, Mr. Jorge Lara Castro Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of LLDCs. Twenty four of the thirty one LLDCs were represented.

The theme of the Ministerial Meeting was “Further implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action to support acceleration  of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by Landlocked Developing Countries”. The general debate on the theme that was held in the Meeting highlighted that LLDCs remained largely marginalized from the international market due to high transport and transit costs and this was negatively affecting their ability to achieve the MDGs. The Meeting noted that other challenges affecting the LLDCs included rising food costs, climate change, limited transfer of technologies, limited productive capacities, limited telecommunication and energy infrastructure. Food importing LLDCs, were most seriously affected by rising food prices that were exacerbated by high transport charges. Climate change was exacerbating land degradation, desertification and deforestation. Climate change also has an impact on the transport infrastructure presenting a new challenge that needs to be addressed.
 
The Meeting noted that some progress had been made in implementing the Almaty Programme of Action, however  more needed to be done in the areas of infrastructure development include its repair and maintenance, regional cooperation to address transit problems, trade facilitation, market access, and technology transfer.
 
The Communiqué adopted by the LLDC Ministers called for the accelerated implementation of the Almaty Programme  of Action and specifically for (1) improved trade facilitation in the final outcome of the Doha Development Round that support the development of trade in LLDCs; (2) provision of financial, technological and capacity-building support to enable LLDCs to address the impacts of climate change and research to further understand the impact of climate change; (3) research on the vulnerability of LLDCs to external shocks, and development of a set of vulnerability indicators that can be used the LLDCs for early warning purposes; (4) expeditious implementation of the Aid for Trade initiative; (5) increased support for infrastructure development including closing of the missing links; (6) increased financial and technical assistance to the LLDCs to enhance further implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action to support the acceleration of the progress towards the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals includingthe MDGs.
 
The Ministerial Meeting endorsed the multilateral agreement on the establishment of the International Think Tank  highlighting that the Think Tank will provide very valuable research and analytical support to the LLDCs to help them overcome the vulnerabilities that they face due to their geography.

 

Meeting related documents