and High Representative for the
Least Developed Countries,
Landlocked Developing Countries
and Small Island Developing States
Secretary-General of the
International Ministerial Conference (IMC)
Latin American Regional Meeting of Landlocked and Transit
Developing Countries on Transit Transport Cooperation
on the Preparatory Process of the IMC
Asuncion, 12 March 2003
thank you very much for the opportunity to brief the delegations
on the preparatory process for the International Ministerial
Conference. At the outset allow me to congratulate you on
your election as Chairman of the Latin American regional preparatory
meeting. I am fully confident that under your able leadership,
the deliberations of this meeting will come to a successful
I also congratulate the delegations of Bolivia and Uruguay
for their election to the Bureau of the Meeting.
you are aware, the General Assembly first decided to convene
the International Ministerial Conference in 2001 in its resolution
56/180. In 2002,
the General Assembly in its resolution 57/242 decided on organizational
aspects of the Conference, including its specific dates, venue
and the bureau. In the latter, the General Assembly also designated
me as the Secretary-General of the Conference.
Office started the preparatory work for the Conference as
soon as the Secretary-General appointed me as the High Representative.
My first task was to develop the conceptual framework of organizational
and substantive aspects of the Conference and to forge a broad
consensus among Member States as well as the relevant stakeholders,
including UN system organizations, multilateral institutions
and regional organizations. We have embarked on serious consultations
with all stakeholders to achieve this task.
on such broad based consultations we have prepared the conceptual
framework of the Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing
Countries and submitted it to the first Inter-agency meeting
that I convened in New York in June last year. This first
Inter-agency meeting, which brought together about 50 senior
officials from more than 20 UN agencies, including the World
Bank, UNCTAD and the regional commissions, endorsed the approach
developed by the Office of the High Representative. We also
invited representatives from both landlocked and transit developing
countries to the Inter-agency meeting to reflect their views.
The Inter-agency meeting constituted as the launching of the
preparatory process for the International Ministerial Conference.
2002 Annual Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries
in New York adopted the Ministerial Declaration on the International
Ministerial Conference, which provided us with clear guidelines
on how to proceed with the preparatory process for the Ministerial
At the 57th session of the General Assembly, the Second Committee
considered the progress on the preparation for the International
Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing
Countries. On this agenda, my Office submitted the report
of the Secretary-General of the Secretary-General. The General
Assembly demonstrated the strong interest of Member States
for this Conference. It was a clear expression of the great
importance that the Member States accord to the specific needs
of landlocked developing countries, in general, and international
cooperation for establishing efficient transit systems.
following elements serve as the guiding principles for us
to coordinate the system-wide preparations for the International
the establishment of efficient transit systems is the area
where the United Nations could bring a tangible progress to
landlocked developing countries. The Conference is unique
with its focused and specific agenda. Such a focused agenda
would lead to the action-oriented outcome, implementation
of which would be feasible, measurable and quantifiable.
a broad-based participatory approach is the key to the success
of the Conference, as different institutions are dealing with
the various aspects of the issue such as legal, infrastructure
development planning and funding, trade, trade facilitation,
regional integration and standard setting etc. The Ministerial
Conference is a UN system-wide joint undertaking with the
single objective of formulating a new agenda for establishing
efficient transit systems around the world. Consequently,
efforts have been made to ensure that Governments, UN entities
and other relevant organizations have a sense of ownership
of the preparatory process as well as of the outcome of the
Conference. In particular, the regional commissions have the
main responsibility for the regional level preparations. In
this context, I would like to commend the excellent work undertaken
by Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Executive-Secretary of ECLAC,
and his able secretariat for providing preparations for this
regional meeting in a timely and efficient manner.
an effective and meaningful involvement of the private sector
would be an important element of the process. We are working
with the International Chamber of Commerce to mobilize participation
of the private sector at the Conference.
the bottom up approach from the sub-regional/ regional level
to the global level preparations has been endorsed. The efficient
transit systems will only be established at the sub-regional
level in the regional perspective. Therefore,
to be meaningful and effective, any global programme needs
to be based on sub-regional/regional level assessment of constraints,
and identification of priorities for future action. Sub-regional/regional
level preparations should, therefore, receive special attention.
The existing intergovernmental mechanism and initiatives at
the sub-regional and regional levels are being utilized as
fully as possible.
the preparatory process should be designed in such a way that
it would achieve the expected outcome with minimum resources.
It is, therefore, planned to have no more than 5 days of additional
meetings in the biennium 2002-2003. The sixth meeting of governmental
experts, which has already been scheduled, will be turned
into the first session of the preparatory committee. The second
session of the preparatory committee will be organized back-to-back
with the Ministerial Conference. The Conference will be well
structured and focused. We will avoid too many parallel events
and overlapping activities. Indeed, there will be two parallel
events, namely Investment Forum and Trade Facilitation Panel.
the Ministerial Conference must be built on well-coordinated
and well-planned preparatory work.
me turn now to the other specific aspects of the Conference.
First, the mandate of the Conference.
of the Ministerial Conference
International Ministerial Conference provides the international
community with a unique opportunity to galvanize international
solidarity and partnership to assist landlocked developing
countries to effectively participate in the international
trading system, through establishing efficient transit systems.
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/180, the
mandate of the Ministerial Conference is to:
i) review the current situation of transit transport systems,
implementation of the 1995 Global Framework for Transit Cooperation
formulate, inter alia, appropriate policy measures and action-oriented
programmes aimed at developing efficient transit transport
The regional platforms to be adopted at the regional preparatory
meetings will constitute an important part of the outcome
of the Conference.
you can see from the roadmap that I made available for your
the International Ministerial Conference shall be preceded
by two sessions of the International Preparatory Committee.
The sixth meeting of Governmental Experts from Landlocked
and Transit Developing Countries and Representatives of Donor
Countries and Financial and Development Institutions shall
serve as the first session of the Preparatory Committee. This
first session will commence negotiations on the draft final
outcome of the Conference. The second session of the Intergovernmental
Preparatory Committee will finalise the text of the draft
outcome for the adoption by the Ministerial Conference.
Participation at the Conference and its preparatory process
General Assembly in its resolution 57/242 invited organizations
and bodies of the United Nations system, including UNCTAD
and the regional commissions,
the international financial and developments institution,
in particular, the World Bank, and other relevant regional
and international organizations and the international community
to provide the necessary substantive, financial and technical
support to the preparatory process and organization of the
Conference as well as to participate actively.
The Secretary-General of the Conference was invited to make
the necessary arrangements to facilitate the meaningful participation
of civil society, including the private sector, at the Conference
and its preparatory meetings.
General Assembly requested the Secretary-General of the United
Nations to seek voluntary contributions to facilitate the
preparations for the Ministerial Conference, including the
participation of representatives of landlocked and transit
developing countries at the Conference. I have launched a
campaign on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United
Nations to mobilize voluntary contributions. UNDP Resident
Representatives are also being mobilized. For this purpose,
I sent a letter jointly signed with the Under-Secretary-General
and Associate Administrator of the UNDP Mr. Zephirin Diabré
to the UNDP Resident Representative with a request to fund
at least two participants from landlocked and transit developing
countries to the first session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory
Committee in New York and to the Conference itself.
preparatory process of the International Ministerial Conference
will be conducted at regional and global levels. The Secretary-General
of the Conference has been asked to convene three regional
meetings by April 2003 in Africa, Asia and the Latin America.
In view of time and resources constraints, the sub-regional
meetings could also be organized in the sidelines of the regional
meetings. These Regional Meetings are expected to formulate
regional platforms on measures aimed at improving transit
transport systems. They are also expected to adopt a list
of proposals for deliverables.
of the Conference
General Assembly decided in its resolution 57/242 that the
intergovernmental preparatory committee shall have a bureau
consisting of 10 representatives of Member States elected
on the basis of equitable geographical representation. I have
already started the consultations with the delegates in New
It is my view that the Bureau should also have the equitable
representation from three groups, namely landlocked, transit
and donor countries along with the geographical representation.
substantive preparations are well underway. The World Bank
has been actively involved and my Office has been in regular
contact with the Transport Division of the Bank. I made the
keynote speech at the 2003 annual Transport Forum of the World
Bank on the Ministerial Conference. Keeping in mind Ministerial
Conference, the World Bank devoted a chapter on transport
services in its annual report entitled "World Economic
Perspective". It is a major substantive contribution
by the World Bank to the Conference. In addition, the World
Bank is preparing a comprehensive paper on private investment
in infrastructure development in landlocked and transit developing
countries. UNCTAD has commissioned studies on transit problems
of LLDCs from three main angles, namely transit facilitation,
trade expansion and investment promotion. My Office is preparing
a publication on the overall socio-economic development trend
in landlocked developing countries and transit transport systems
around the world. We will also prepare the report of the Secretary-General
to the first session of the preparatory committee on the outcome
of the regional level preparations. Also, the Millennium Development
Project headed by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to
the Secretary-General of United Nations on the Millennium
Development Goals, is also preparing a paper on development
needs of landlocked developing countries.
relevant documents will be made available at the first session
of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee and the Conference
itself. They will serve as a substantive basis for the deliberations
and for the outcome of the Conference.
me conclude by informing that my Office has launched a website
on the Ministerial Conference containing useful information
on the preparatory meetings at the regional and international
levels, their mandate, background documents, host country
information, including venue, date, expected participants,
hotel information, parallel events etc. You may visit our
website for more detailed information, which will be regularly
updated. The address of the website is www.un.org/ohrlls
thank you, Mr. Chairman.