Oaugadougou, Burkina Faso, 18 June 2007: United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, says considerable investment is required to address the needs to develop, upgrade and maintain reliable transit transport infrastructure. According to him, more focused and long-term financial assistance from the multilateral, regional and bilateral donors is crucial.
Speaking on Transit Transport Infrastructure Development at the Thematic Meeting to launch the preparatory process for the Midterm Review of the Almaty Programme of Action in Burkina Faso today, Mr. Chowdhury said that transit transport cooperation can receive a significant boost from South-South cooperation, as most transit neighbors of landlocked developing countries are themselves developing nations. He also believes that regional and sub-regional organizations have an immense role to play in exploring and facilitating such cooperation.
“The success of our endeavors will indeed depend on the strength of our partnership, the same partnership that we launched in 2003 in Almaty to establish effective transit transport systems for the benefit of landlocked developing countries in all regions of the world”, he said.
Mr. Chowdhury emphasized that cooperation across borders with the transit countries was crucial for the establishment of efficient transit transport systems. He pointed out that if administrative or customs delays are minimized and investment decisions are taken with a common perspective, the benefits derived by landlocked and transit countries will be increased and transport costs will be lowered.
Speaking at the same event, Alain B. Yoda, Minister of State and Representative of the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, stressed that breaking records of production will not be useful if landlocked countries have additional constraints that do not allow them to compete in international markets. “The urgent task the landlocked countries must undertake is the establishment of bilateral and multilateral, national and sub-regional partnerships between the public sector and the private sector”, he said.
In agreement with this, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Deputy Executive Secretary, Josephine Ouedraogo, declared that the amelioration and construction of transport infrastructures need high investments that cannot be faced by landlocked and transit countries. “The aid of the International Community and the setting of financial resources adapted are imperative and require the participation of the private sector”, she said.
Finally, Mr. Chowdhury expressed his pleasure of being able to attend the kick-off meeting of the Almaty Midterm process, particularly as he will complete his UN tenure as High Representative at the end of this month.
Derrick E. Bwalya, Information Officer, United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Tel: (917) 367-2471. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.un.org/ohrlls/