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The Second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) adopted a Programme of Action for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024 that holistically addresses LLDCs' special development needs and challenges.

The outcome document (A/CONF.225/L.1) focuses on six priorities: transit policy issues; infrastructure development and maintenance, including on transport, energy and information and communications technology (ICT); international trade and trade facilitation; regional integration and cooperation; structural economic transformation; and means of implementation.

landlocked-developing-countries5 November 2014: The Second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) adopted a Programme of Action for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024 that holistically addresses LLDCs’ special development needs and challenges. The outcome document (A/CONF.225/L.1) focuses on six priorities: transit policy issues; infrastructure development and maintenance, including on transport, energy and information and communications technology (ICT); international trade and trade facilitation; regional integration and cooperation; structural economic transformation; and means of implementation.

The outcome document recognizes that LLDCs have primary responsibility for their development while stressing renewed and strengthened partnerships among LLDCs, transit countries and development partners. The document also calls for support to “contribute to an enhanced rate of sustainable and inclusive growth, which can contribute to the eradication of poverty.”

In opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended turning LLDCs into “land-linked countries” that are integrated with the global economy. He called for enabling LLDCs to reduce poverty, create decent jobs and achieve high economic growth, stressing the importance of structural transformation.

Saying LLDCs “are swimming against the tide” and cannot meet development objectives on their own, UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa recommended that the new Programme of Action support LLDCs strive to “enhance their competitiveness, stimulate productive capacities, diversify exports, strengthen their resilience to external and internal shocks, and most importantly, ensure a better future for their 450 million citizens.”

Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), LLDCs and small island developing States (SIDS), as well as Ban and Kutesa, recommended addressing LLDCs’ needs in the post-2015 development agenda. Acharya recommended greater synergy between the LLDC development agenda and discussions on the post-2015 agenda, calling for “actions that match the magnitude of the challenges of being landlocked.” Ban said comprehensive improvements in trade were necessary for LLDCs to be prepared to work toward the post-2015 agenda.

During the conference, a Business and Investment Forum recognized the critical role of private sector engagement in accelerating LLDC development and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Speaking at the event, Ban stressed the UN’s desire to work more closely with the private and public sectors to support LLDCs to achieve a more just, sustainable future. Ole Hansen, Head, UN Global Compact LEAD, noted LLDCs’ “long distances from world markets and absence of ocean ports literally take a toll on growth, on tax revenues and on standards of living.” Panelists recommended engaging the private sector in early stages of development, simplifying company registration, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Also at the conference, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) launched ‘Economic Diversification in Asian LLDCs: Prospects and Challenges.’ The report guides policymakers in identifying diversification paths and opportunities to improve a country’s productive capacity and lead to new products.

Over 1,000 participants attended the conference, which took place in Vienna, Austria, from 3-5 November 2014.[Programme of Action for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024] [UN Press Release, 5 November] [OHRLLS Press Release, 5 November] [UN Press Release, 3 November] [OHRLLS Press Release, 2 November] [UN Press Release on Business and Investment Forum] [UN Press Release on ESCAP Publication] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UN Secretary-General Remarks at High-level Roundtable] [UN Secretary-General Remarks at Press Conference] [UNGA President Statement at Opening] [Conference Website]


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