6 October 2017 – Multilateral Agreement on the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries Enters into Force

NEW YORK, 6 October 2017 – The first intergovernmental entity to support the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) has been operationalised as the Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries enters into force today.

Press Briefing: Entry into Force of the Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries, New York

The Think Tank will be a centre of excellence for high quality research and policy advice on strengthening analytical capacities of LLDCs in the key areas of economic growth and poverty reduction.  The entity will work closely with various partners and stakeholders to shore up effective cooperation with and among the group of LLDCs. The Think Tank will also strengthen the collective voice of the LLDCs in global dialogue especially at the United Nations and at the World Trade Organization. The Think Tank was proposed by the Government of Mongolia with the support of the group of LLDCs and is located in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the operationalization of the Think Tank, saying: “Landlocked developing countries face unique and formidable obstacles. This milestone achievement will help these countries forge effective partnerships and realize their sustainable development aspirations.”

“I would like to thank all the LLDCs that have ratified the Agreement so far for making the International Think Tank a reality. I also urge those members who haven’t yet ratified to do so as soon as possible, so that they can benefit as well.” said Ms. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.  “Moving forward, my Office would like to assure you of our commitment to the full formalization of the Think Tank, and stands ready to support this process.”

Landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) are categorised as LLDCs because of their lack of direct access to the sea and remoteness from major markets. They also have small populations and equally small markets and face structural challenges, infrastructure deficiencies and productivity constraints. The international community adopted the Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries to address the special needs of the LLDCs. The work of the Think Tank will contribute to the effective implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action and the achievement of the SDGs by the LLDCs. 

The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs have been supporting the group of LLDCs to elaborate the Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank which was endorsed at the group’s 9th Ministerial Meeting in September 2010 in New York.

More information on the International Think Tank for the LLDCs: http://land-locked.org/