(New York, 22 September 2022)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to address my video message for the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries.
First of all, let me extend sincere appreciation to the Republic of Botswana and personally to His Excellency Dr. Lemogang Kwape, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana for providing excellent leadership to the Group and for convening today’s Ministerial Meeting.
I am pleased to brief you on the outcome of the Ministerial Transport Conference of LLDCs held in Turkmenbashi city (Turkmenistan) on 15 – 16 August this year.
Our country arranged this Conference in collaboration with the Office of the High Representative under the theme “Ashgabat Process: Financing for Better Connectivity”.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to Her Excellency Madam Rabab Fatima and her team for their strong support shown during the preparation process and the actual conduct of the Conference.
Together we achieved the participation of more than 20 Ministers and Vice Ministers of transport from LLDCs, transit countries, and development partners and over 30 international and regional organizations including United Nations system agencies, development banks, regional and subregional organizations, think tanks and the private sector.
I am really proud to say that the Ministerial Conference concluded with a substantive and forward-looking document - the Awaza Summary Statement, which accumulated the positions stated by the ministers, background documents and the proceedings of the Conference sessions.
I would like to draw your attention to some key elements of this document.
First, it underscores the important role of enhanced transport connectivity for sustainable recovery of LLDCs from COVID-19 pandemic and makes a call to enhance transportation linkages and accelerate the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action in the remaining period.
Second, the Awaza Summary Statement notes the importance of holding of regular high-level international meetings within the framework of the Ashgabat process on sustainable transport, launched at the First Global Sustainable Transport Conference. In this regard, it notes the necessity to hold regular multilateral consultations, capacity building and training activities on transport, customs, visa and other trade and transport facilitating issues.
Third, the Summary Statement calls for greater collaboration on increasing investment for key infrastructure projects, as well as foreign direct investment, and facilitating the use of transport data, information and communication technologies in transport and transit systems.
Forth, the Statement underlines the strong links between transport and trade agendas, and the fundamental importance of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation as well as other international and regional trade and transport-related conventions, regulations, and agreements for LLDCs, transit countries and their trade partners.
Fifth, the Awaza Summary Statement emphasizes the need to assist LLDCs in accelerating the transition to low-carbon energy sources and technologies, bearing in mind that climate change can disrupt transit trade and interconnected supply chains.
Finally, the Summary Statement encourages LLDCs and their partners to take a very active role in the preparation process and attend the Third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries in 2024 at the highest possible level.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we must ensure the implementation of the outcome achieved in Turkmenistan and put all that we contributed to the Awaza Statement in one Road Map document. In this regard, we propose to have a Preparatory Meeting for the Third LLDCs Conference in the first half of 2023. Turkmenistan is ready to provide the necessary support in hosting this event.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that my country remains committed to continuing close cooperation with the United Nations in fostering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by land-locked developing countries.
I thank you for your attention.