1. Mainstreaming the needs of LLDCs in major United Nations processes.
The LLDCs are faced with challenges related to their geography that deprive them of direct access to seaborne trade, compounded by the long distance from major international markets, cumbersome transit procedures, inadequate transport infrastructure and dependence on the political stability, infrastructure and institutional quality of coastal transit countries. These challenges have major ramifications on economic growth, and social and environmental aspects of development including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals hence the need to treat the development of LLDCs in a holistic way. Many emerging challenges that we have to deal with include: climate change; vulnerability to external and internal shocks, rising food and energy prices.
As the Chair of the LLDC Group I will profile these broad development needs of the LLDCs in different fora, outcome documents, resolutions, declarations, plans of action and other decisions. I will ensure that these challenges of the LLDCs are considered in a holistic manner clearly showing the linkages between how the geographical disadvantage of the LLDCs affect economic growth, social and environmental development. The Chair’s priority is to mainstream the issues and concerns into major United Nations processes in particular the upcoming Rio+20, UNCTAD XIII, Climate Change negotiations, follow-up on Financing for Development, WTO’s-Doha negotiations, MDG Summit in 2015, post 2015 MDG Development Agenda, meetings on South-South Cooperation and others. This will help in getting the necessary support that can help LLDCs to overcome the challenges that they face and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs. It will also enable effective participation of LLDCs in regional integration and international trade.
2. The General Assembly
Lead the preparation of the General Assembly Resolution for the upcoming 67th and 68th sessions. These resolutions will include modalities for the Second Conference on LLDCs and Intergovernmental preparatory Committee sessions to be held in 2014 and other specific actions related to the conference.
The Group shall support the preparation of the Report of the Secretary General on the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action to be submitted to the upcoming 67th and 68th sessions. I am going to make statements in the Second Committee and other GA plenary sessions to promote the issues of LLDCs. I am also going to make statements to other plenary sessions of the General Assembly that focus on development issues that are of relevance to LLDCs including: external debt sustainability and development; international financial system and development; commodities; international trade and development; financing for development; agriculture development and food security; social development; sustainable development; desertification; eradication of poverty; and advancement of women.
3. The ECOSOC
ECOSOC deals with issues that are of great relevance to LLDCs. One way in which the Group can be involved is through the Annual Ministerial Review. LLDCs can volunteer to make presentations to the AMR sessions and I plan to present a statement during ECOSOC. The AMR themes for the next 3 years are as follows:
- 2012 - “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”
- 2013 AMR - “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”
- 2014 - “Addressing ongoing and emerging challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future.”
I am going to further explore how to ensure that the issues of the LLDCs can be tabled in ECOSOC including how we can be involved in the Development Cooperation Forum of ECOSOC.
4. Support the enhanced implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action in the remaining period.
The Chairman will encourage LLDC Member States, transit developing countries and all stakeholders to effectively implement the Almaty Programme of Action in the period that remains.
5. Support the successful preparation and organisation of the Ten-Year Review conference of the Almaty Programme of Action.
As mandated by the General Assembly in Resolution 66/214, the Chair will support the preparation and organization of the Ten-Year Review of the Almaty Programme of Action and the Second International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries to be held in 2014.
The main objective of the conference is to comprehensively and critically assess the implementation of the APoA, and develop a new common action-oriented strategic framework for the next decade and mobilize additional international support measures in favour of the LLDCs.
The preparatory process would involve three tracks: Intergovernmental Track; United Nations and other international and regional organizations Track and the Private Sector Track. The global review of the conference would be preceded by national, sub-regional and regional preparations as presented in the Roadmap.
At the national level, LLDCs would be required to submit reports on the implementation of the APoA that would contribute to the enrichment of sub-regional and regional reports. All LLDCs are required to prepare their national reports reviewing the implementation of the Almaty programme since 2003
Sub-regional and Regional Levels
At the sub-regional level, consultations would involve regional economic communities in Africa, Europe and Asia and Latin America to assess progress made in implementing the APoA, identify key challenges and recommend appropriate corrective measures. Sub-regional reviews will be organized in the context of the regional reviews. At the regional level, the United Nations Regional Commissions would take the lead in the process of preparing and convening the Regional Reviews. The reviews would feed into the global preparations and outcome document. These will be held in 2013.
The Chair and the Group will provide support to the United Nations system and other stakeholders in undertaking intensive, focused and sustained advocacy to raise awareness on the critical challenges faced by LLDCs and the need for appropriate international support measures through preconference events at the global level. These will be held from this year up to the time of the conference.
Ten-Year Review Conference 2014
The Conference will include intergovernmental plenary sessions, parallel thematic roundtables, side events, an Investment Forum and an exhibition. The Chair and the Group will provide support in all activities. I urge all LLDCs to prepare to attend the conference at the highest level possible
6. Annual Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries to be held in September 2012 and September 2013.
Two annual Ministerial Meetings of the Group of LLDCs will be held one in 2012 and the other in 2013. This is the platform where we update, consult each other, and articulate the collective needs of the Group.
7. The Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Trade Ministers of LLDCs and Meeting on the International Trade, Trade Facilitation and Aid-for-trade will be held in September 2012 in Kazakhstan
8. Brainstorming meeting to provide input into the identification of the priorities of the new programme of action for LLDCs.
This meeting will propose initial thoughts on the key priority areas that the next decade should focus on in order to adequately address the special needs of the LLDCs
9. Support to the Inter-Agency Consultative Group Meetings.
In my capacity as the Chair of the LLDC Group I shall present statements during the opening sessions of the meetings.
10. Panel on the practical significance of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relevant to landlocked developing countries.
The Group of LLDCs will organize this event in 2012 in collaboration with OHRLLS and will also seek support from the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs.
11. Project to support the Intergovernmental agreement on the Trans African Highway.
The Group will support as much as it can the efforts of OHRLLS, ECA and the African Union Commission to support the African countries to establish and implement an intergovernmental agreement on the Trans African Highway.
12. Project on the International Think Tank for LLDCs and its operationalization
The LLDC Think Tank will provide a centre of excellence for high quality research and policy advice for landlocked developing countries and will contribute to further strengthening of the analytical capacities of Landlocked Developing Countries. It will also promote the exchange of experiences and best practices needed to maximize their coordinated efforts for the full and effective implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action.
For its entry into force, the Agreement needs ten instruments of consent to be bound, according to article XII of the Agreement. Seven LLDCs had signed the Multilateral Agreement Establishing the International Think Tank for LLDCs before the deadline of 31 October 2011 - these include Ethiopia, Laos People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Niger, Paraguay, Afghanistan and Armenia. We have not yet met the required target. The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs indicated that a State that has not signed the Multilateral Agreement and wishes to become a party to the treaty can deposit an instrument of accession. It is important that LLDC take the necessary steps to become party to the Agreement by depositing an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or if their country did not sign the Agreement, to deposit an instrument of accession so as to facilitate the speedy operationalisation of the Think Tank. So far only Mongolia has deposited such an instrument.
13. Regular meetings or consultations within the LLDC Group.
It is important that the Group meets regularly and apprises ongoing work and issues.
Rules of Procedure for the group
The activities of the Group highlighted in this Roadmap will abide to the Rules of Procedure.
The implementation mechanisms for the Vision and the Roadmap will detail the different role of the Chair, the Bureau, the members of the Group, OHRLLS, other partners. The Bureau will hold regular meetings.
The Chair will promote the interest of the LLDC Group through close interaction and consultation with the United Nations systems and other relevant international organisations; the Governing bodies of the UN Funds and Programmes; bilateral meetings with donors and transit countries; enhanced South-South cooperation and through delivering statements and remarks particularly on issues that are of great importance to the LLDCs such as transit transport, international trade and trade facilitation but presented in a holistic way showing how these issues are important for the overall sustainable development of LLDCs.
Close collaboration will be maintained with the following United Nations and international organizations: OHRLLS; UNCTAD; WTO; UNDP; UNFCCC; UNIDO; UNCCD; the World Bank; and the Regional Development Banks (Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank and Inter American Development Bank; Regional Economic Commissions (ECA, ECE, ESCAP and ECLAC); World Customs Organisation; the International Road Transport Union; Common Fund for Commodities, and Regional and Subregional Organisations.
Close partnership will also be maintained with the LLDC Group based in Geneva.
LLDCs must also try to raise their profile at regional and sub-regional levels.