NEW YORK, 24 August (UN Headquarters) — Newly-appointed Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Cheikh Sidi Diarra, arrives in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia, on Monday 27th August 2007 to attend a thematic meeting on international trade and trade facilitation, which will be preceded by a ministerial meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

The four-day meeting on International Trade and Trade Facilitation, attended by ministers of trade and high level officials from LLDCs and transit developing countries, will take place in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia, 28-31 August 2007.

The Ulaanbaatar meeting will be the last of two thematic meetings in 2007 to provide inputs to the UN General Assembly’s midterm review of the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action for LLDCs scheduled for 2008.

The main objectives of the Ulaanbatar meeting are:

o          Review the progress made in implementing the trade facilitation measures prescribed by the Almaty Programme to enable LLDCs participate equitably in international trade.

o          Recommend further actions for integrating LLDCs into the world economy through strengthened trade facilitation measures at the country and regional levels.

The Mongolia meeting will be Mr. Diarra’s first major engagement since he assumed the position of High Representative on 1 August 2007.

It is expected that the High Representative will hold bilateral talks with the President, the Foreign Minister and other Mongolian government officials. He will also meet with United Nations Country Team in Mongolia.

The overarching goal of the Almaty Programme of Action adopted in 2003 is to forge partnerships to establish efficient transit transport systems and overcome the problems of landlocked developing countries caused by their lack of territorial access to the sea and their remoteness and isolation from world markets.

The first thematic meeting, which focused on Transit Transport Infrastructure Development, was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 18 – 20 June 2007.

For further information, please contact:

In Ulaanbatar, Mongolia: Sandagdorj Erdenebileg on +1-917-456-2123; and at UN Headquarters in New York:

Derrick Ed Bwalya
Information Officer

United Nations Office of the High Representative for the
Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries
and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)

Room S-0770N

United Nations Headquarters

New York, NY 10017 – USA

Tel: +1-917-367-2471
Fax: +1-917-367-3415 or +1-212-963-0419