NEW YORK, Friday, October 3, 2014 – Zambia has called for close cooperation between Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and their transit neighbours to achieve a win-win development outcome.Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said strong cooperation on fundamental transit policies, laws and regulations between LLDCs and transit countries was crucial for the effective and integrated solutions to cross-border trade and transit transport problems.
“To achieve meaningful economic development in LLDCs, we need to find lasting solutions to the challenges faced by LLDCs. Therefore, the Conference to be held in Vienna in November provides a critical opportunity to renew the spirit of partnership that was born in Almaty (10 years ago),” said Mr Mukanga at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday at the second session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Second United Nations Conference on LLDCs in Vienna, Austria next month.
Zambia chairs the 32-member LLDCs Group.
Mr Mukanga said there was need to significantly enhance transit transport infrastructure development, its maintenance and closing all the missing links to reduce the high trading costs.
The Minister highlighted the need to improve international trade and trade facilitation.
He said trade had not been fully exploited and harness despite it being an important tool for LLDCs to boost their economic growth, create jobs and eradicate poverty.
“One area that could yield potential benefits to the LLDCs is the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. I, therefore, urge all concerned to deal with the on-going stalemate to allow for the implementation of the agreement,” said Mr Mukanga, emphasising that the international community should join in unlocking the trade potential of the LLDCs.
UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, LLDCs and Small Island Developing States, Gyan Chandra Acharya, said the outcome document of the Vienna Conference should help improve people’s lives in landlocked developing countries.
As the conference will take at the time the UN Member States are formulating the Post-2015 development agenda, Mr Acharya expressed hope that the outcome document will contribute to mainstream the concerns and expectations of the LLDCs in the global development processes.
Austria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Martin Sajdik, said the development challenges of LLDCs require concerted efforts on the international level to accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve lives.
“As host country of the conference, Austria is committed to making the conference a success and to achieving a meaningful outcome for the benefit of the LLDCs. Therefore, we believe that the outcome document should be balanced, taking into account the priorities and concerns of the LLDC, their transit neighbours and the development partners,” said Ambassador Sajdik.
Representatives of LLDCs, transit developing countries and donor countries, UN system, other international organizations and the private sector will convene in Vienna Austria, between 3 and 5 November, 2014 to shape the landlocked developing countries development agenda for the next decade.
CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA (Mr.)
First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations