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Statement at Seventh Annual Ministerial Meeting of LLDCs - 28 September 2007
15 July 2008 / 02:50

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Statement by Hon. Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, at the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)


New York, 28 September 2007

Mr. Chairman,


Distinguished delegates,

1. Let me begin by congratulating you, Mr. Chairman, for assuming the chairmanship of our Group. I assure you of my government’s full cooperation in the discharge of your duties. We also commend the Lao People’s Democratic Republic for the excellent stewardship of the group during its chairmanship.

2. I would like to congratulate His Excellency Cheick Sidi Diarra for assuming the position of the High-Representative for LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS.

Mr. Chairman,

3. The international community is aware of the special difficulties faced by the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), which are unfairly marginalized in the global market. These countries have serious infrastructural underdevelopment, institutional bottlenecks, and trade capacity constraints.

4. Due to geographical remoteness and inaccessibility to the sea, the landlocked developing countries are handicapped from accessing the world markets. Their exports incur extra burden in production process and marketing due to increased cost of transportation, cumbersome customs procedures, and other procedural delays. Their imports also face increased delivery costs.

5. Resources gap continue to be major hurdles in many LLDCs. Enhanced level of support and cooperation from the development partners is critical to achieving the agreed goals and programs for the landlocked developing countries.

6. The Almaty Programme of Action adopted in 2003 has rightly emphasized on the effective and genuine partnership among landlocked developing countries, transit developing countries, and their development partners for addressing the special needs of landlocked developing countries.

7. We are reaching midpoint of the implementation of this important framework of global partnership. During our review process, we should assess the progress made, lessons learned and obstacles encountered in its implementation. I emphasize on the need of broad participative and result-oriented preparatory process with a view to appropriately understating and fulfilling implementation gaps and guiding us towards the full implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action.

8. In this context, we welcome the initiatives the UN-OHRLLS has undertaken in coordinating the preparatory process for the mid-term review meeting of the General Assembly on the implementation of the Programme of Action in 2008.

Mr. Chairman,

9. The first thematic meeting on transit and transport infrastructure development held in June 2007 in Burkina Faso has emphasized on the effective role of international financial and development institutions and regional organizations in developing transit transport infrastructure. In this regard, I would like to urge the donor community to increase aid to support national budget for increased requirement of trade-related public investment.

10. Our trade ministers at the second thematic meeting on trade and trade facilitation held in August 2007 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, have emphasized on the need for enhanced aid for trade support and sustainable trade diversification strategies. Nepal welcomes the outcomes of these meetings, which have provided substantive inputs for the way forward.

11. Meaningful and beneficial integration of landlocked developing countries into the global economy is critical to their development. Continued lack of progress in Doha Development Agenda has seriously undermined the development dimension of trade. We need to reinforce the WTO trade talks with a view to concluding the development round in the interest of the developing countries. We should continue to articulate our coordinated efforts through active persuasion of the Asuncion Platform.

12. Many developing countries, particularly the LLDCs, require increased level of trade finance. They need to build trade-related infrastructure, technical and productive capacities in order to participate in trade in a fair and beneficial manner.

Mr. Chairman,

13. In conclusion, enhanced global partnership is crucial for meeting the special needs of the LLDCs. In order to effectively implement the Almaty Programme of Action and achieve the Millennium Development Goals, LLDCs need to be supported, financially and technologically, in a more predictable and sustainable manner.

14. Nepal reiterates its commitment to taking effective actions at the national level in order to achieving the aims of the Almaty Programme of Action. Nepal’s new democratic dispensation is committed to a political and social transformation, through the logical conclusion of the peace process. While we are embarking upon a post-conflict reconstruction program, we hope for continued and enhanced support from all our development partners.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman!