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Nepal on needs and problems of landlocked developing countries PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations   
Saturday, 22 October 2011 00:45

New York- The landlocked developing countries have been facing constant challenges in the areas of trade, transit and socio-economic development due to lack of territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from world markets and high transit costs.



Statement by  His Excellency Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations,  at the General Debate of the Second Committee, 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, under agenda item 22: Groups of countries in special situations  (b) Specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries: outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation (New York, 21 October 2011)

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation associates itself with the statements made by the delegations of the Republic of Argentina and Paraguay on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Landlocked Developing Countries respectively. My delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for the presentation of a report under this agenda item. My delegation also thanks Under Secretary-General and High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS His Excellency Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra for his comprehensive statement yesterday and for the continued support provided to the LLDCs.

Mr. Chairman,

The landlocked developing countries have been facing constant challenges in the areas of trade, transit and socio-economic development due to lack of territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from world markets and high transit costs. These countries continue to confront problems emanated from high transit transportation costs, declining trade volume, decreased foreign direct investment and high inflation, high unemployment, low level of GDP and high level of poverty and hunger. The current economic and financial crises, volatility of food prices, energy insecurity, and climate change have strongly undermined their national efforts for development. These complex and multifaceted challenges have negatively affected the attempts of the LLDCs to attain the internationally agreed development goals, especially the MDGs including eradication of poverty and hunger. The report of the Secretary-General as contained in document A/66/205 rightly points out that the landlocked developing countries as a group experienced a decrease in economic growth from 5.8 per cent in 2008 to 3.6 per cent in 2009 owing to the global financial and economic crisis.  This should be taken into account in providing support to the LLDCs.

The status of the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action for the LLDCs shows that there has been minimal progress and there is a long way to go for its effective implementation to provide sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the LDDCs. The proportion of population living in extreme poverty in our countries is still very high and women and children are affected most. We underscore the importance of 2013 Comprehensive Review of the Almaty Programme of Action and look forward to an ambitious, forward-looking and result-oriented outcome. We, therefore, call for constructive and substantive support from the international community during the preparatory process and the review itself.

Mr. Chairman,

As a landlocked mountainous country, Nepal has been experiencing problems in trade, transportation and economic development. Being also a least developed country, Nepal faces additional handicaps in these areas. The landlocked situation and mountain terrains have made the transportation of goods highly expensive and burdensome in our country. Our nearest port, which is not even a part of the main sea lanes of the world, is over a thousand kilometers away from our border. Our focus has been to further improve and upgrade transit facilities and infrastructures through an integrated approach to ensure a smooth and efficient transit transport system to facilitate trade.

Trade and economic activities of the LLDCs have been largely hampered by limited progress in the Doha Round of trade negotiations.  We, therefore, lay particular emphasis on the importance of negotiations on trade facilitation, which should not only ensure unhindered access to and from the sea but also make the transit process smoother and reduce the transit time for our countries. It is imperative that the LLDCs should be provided with greater market access for their products, as well as enhanced level of support for the transfer of appropriate technology and for enhancing their productive capacity and competitiveness. We also need increased support from the international community for the Aid for Trade Initiative.  

The LLDCs also require special support to enhance their transit and transport capabilities, develop trade facilitation measures, develop better infrastructure, achieve the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals and strengthen their capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change.   Against this backdrop, it is crucial that the international community should provide enhanced, targeted, predictable and sustainable financial support to the LLDCs. We call for fulfillment of all ODA related commitments in a timely and transparent manner to address special development needs of the LLDCs.


Thank you.

-Gyan Chandra Acharya

Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations

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