Central Asian country chairs the global Group of Landlocked Developing Countries

Central Asian country chairs the global Group of Landlocked Developing Countries

Kazakhstan has accepted from Paraguay the chairmanship in the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) for the period 2020-2021.

According to the press service of the Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry, the ceremony of handing over the chairmanship was held this week at the UN headquarters in New York with the participation of ambassadors and experts of the Group’s member-countries and Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, the United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

During the chairmanship, Kazakhstan intends to actively promote the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs for the decade 2014-2024 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals through enhanced and coordinated interaction between the group’s member states and transit countries, as well as other stakeholders, including UN agencies, international financial institutions, the private sector and academic community.

Kazakhstan was elected as chair-country of the Group during the annual ministerial meeting of the LLDCs in New York last September. In June 2020, Nur-Sultan will host the LLDCs Ministerial forum on trade under the 12th Ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization.

At present, 32 countries belong to the Group of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), including 16 countries from the African continent, 10 from Asia, including all five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, 4 from Europe and 2 from South America.

The lack of geographical access to the open seas creates serious obstacles for these countries to integrate into global trade networks, as their products have to cross multiple borders to reach international markets, which significantly increases the cost of transport services.

The situation of LLDCs is sometimes complicated by insufficient infrastructure development, vulnerability to climate change, limited access to information and communication technologies, etc.

In March this year, Turkmenistan, being an active participant of international transport agenda, will hold an international conference of transport ministers of landlocked developing countries. The forum will become a practical step towards the implementation of transport diplomacy, pursued by Ashgabat.