H.E. AMBASSADOR RASTAM MOHD ISA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
THE FOURTH ANNUAL MINISTERIAL MEETING OF
THE GROUP OF LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
TUESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2003
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed
an honour and a privilege for me to address this important Fourth Annual
Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries in my
capacity as the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement Coordinating Bureau.
I would like to thank His Excellency Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Permanent
Representative of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Chairman of the
Group of Landlocked Developing Countries for extending this invitation to me.
The LLDCs are listed as among the most vulnerable countries of the world.
Indeed, out of the 31 countries which constitute the Group of LLDCs, 16
of them are also classified as being least developed.
Their difficulties are caused by factors such as lack of territorial
access to sea ports, geographical isolation and remoteness from world markets
with the accompanying high transit costs, poor infrastructure, maintenance
problems and inadequate institutional environments.
In addition, they are also solely dependent on a very limited number of
commodities for their export earnings. It is clear that the support of the
international community is essential if these impediments are to be overcome.
The Non-Aligned Movement is fully aware that 18 out of the 31 LLDCs are members
of the Movement.
I would like to reiterate on this occasion the support given by NAM to
the Landlocked Developing Countries as clearly stated at the XIII Summit of
Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Kuala Lumpur in
February 2003. At the Summit the
leaders of NAM has reiterated their call on the international community to give
special attention and support to the special development problems and needs of
these countries, in particular through technical cooperation with, and financial
assistance by developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, to
enable these countries to effectively participate in a rapidly globalising world
economy. The Heads of States and
Governments of the NAM had also similarly noted that transit developing
countries face serious economic problems and that their efforts at developing a
viable transit infrastructure also require financial and technical assistance
from the international community. The
Heads of States and Governments of the Movement also noted that in some cases
regional integration and cooperation efforts have provided additional solutions
to the specific problems confronting Landlocked Developing Countries.
4. I should also like to
inform this meeting that the NAM Ministers of Foreign Affairs held their meeting
in New York last Friday, 26 September 2003.
They adopted a Declaration. I
have the honour to read to you the text of that relevant paragraph in the
Declaration, as follows:-
the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing
Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development
Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation held in Almaty from 28 to 29
August 2003. We express our strong support for the implementation of the
Almaty Programme of Action aimed at addressing the special needs of landlocked
developing countries and establishing a new global framework for action for
developing efficient transit transport systems in landlocked and transit
developing countries, taking into account the interests of both landlocked and
transit developing countries”.
5. It is worthy to note
that the United Nations has established the Barbados Programme of Action for the
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Brussels Programme of Action for
the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It
is timely that the Almaty Programme of Action has now been adopted to address
the problems of the landlocked developing countries.
6. It should be recalled
that through the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, the Member States of
the United Nations have reaffirmed their commitment to the landlocked developing
countries by calling on both bilateral and multilateral donors to increase
financial and technical assistance to landlocked developing countries to meet
their special development needs and also to assist them in improving their
transit transport systems. Everyone
of us should be obliged to ensure the success of the implementation of the
Almaty Programme of Action. It is
essential that the international community, especially those who have the means,
to do all within their power to ensure the full implementation of these targets.
7. On behalf of the
Non-Aligned Movement, I extend the Movement’s support and wish you success in
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.