New York, 27 September 2004
On behalf of the Mongolian Government and in my own name I extend the warmest congratulations to your Mr. Chairman, for convening the fifth Ministerial meeting of the Group and express the hope that it would promote further the cause of landlocked developing countries.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network has been recognized as the major achievement occurring after the Almaty Conference. We are confident that this breakthrough Agreement will provide a defined network of highways that provides access to and through all landlocked countries of the region and positive impact could give a boost to regional economic cooperation and trade.
The Government of Mongolia welcomes the outcome of the UNCTAD XI, and calls WTO and other relevant international organizations and donors to stand for full and effective implementation of the Sao Paulo Consensus, in particular paragraphs 66 and 84 thereof.
Since landlocked developing countries depend on their transit neighbours for access to and from the sea, the establishment of efficient transit systems requires closer and more effective cooperation and collaboration between those countries and their transit neighbours. In this context, regional economic grouping and transit agreements as well as bilateral agreements should play a critical role in promoting transit transport cooperation. We believe that the expected conclusion of the ongoing negotiations on tripartite agreement on transit transportation with Russia and China would spur an increase in trade and investment, facilitate of goods and other shipments within the region, and positively influence economic cooperation in North-East Asia.
Taking this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, let me congratulate you for your dedicated leadership and valuable contribution to the cause of the group.
I am pleased to note that we welcome the Landlocked Developing Countries Communique adopted at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group in sideline of the UNCTAD XI. My delegation sincerely commend our distinguished member, Paraguay, as coordinator of our Group of Landlocked developing countries on matters related to trade and development in Geneva for its excellent work and great efforts made in the process.
We are of the view that the United Nations’ agencies, such as Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, UNCTAD, UNDP as well as WTO, should continue to render their valuable support to the efforts of the landlocked and transit developing countries to enhance and facilitate their transit transport systems, which are vital for accelerating their trade and development. In particular, the relevant offices should be well-equipped and strengthened to promote the implementation of the outcome of the Almaty Ministerial Conference.
Bearing in mind our all achievements reached during the last months, we must continue to work together hard to ensure that the problems and needs of our Group are fully addressed in forthcoming years.
My delegation supports the ideas and objectives reflected in the draft document before us and I assure you of our full support to your endeavours and efforts to achieving our common goals.