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H.E. Mr. DesalegnHailemariam
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The Tenth Annual Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked
September 23, 2011
Your Excellency,Mr. Jorge Lara Castro, Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Paraguay,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Let me first extend to you and your delegation, Excellency, the
congratulations of my Government for the manner in which you
have conducted the chairmanship of our group for the past two
I should also like to pay a tribute to Ambassador
CheickSidiDiarra, High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS
for the exemplary dedication and competence he has shown in
leading the work of the Office.
I am extremely pleased to take part in your deliberations for
the first time.
Since the adoption of the Almaty Programme of Action eight
years ago, it is known that many landlocked and transit developing
countries have made enormous efforts to implement the specific
actions agreed upon in the Programme of Action.
They have strengthened their administrative, legal and
macroeconomic policies on the basis of an integrated approach to
trade and transport.Regional initiativesare strengthened with
theaim to promote development of regional transit transport
networks whichhave contributed to the strengthening of regional
Much as we, the landlocked as well as the transit developing
countries, are encouraged by our achievements, we none the less
believe that we have yet a long way to go to address our
fundamental structural development challenges. Despite our efforts
to sustain high economic growth rates over the last decade, the
global economic situation has made it difficult for us to speed up
our efforts of implementing the Almaty Programme of Action.
The pledgemadeby the international communityduring the
high-level meeting on the midterm review of the Almaty Programme
of Action three years ago brought little effect to address the special
needs of our countries due to the sluggish global economic recovery.
Economic growth and social well-being of landlocked
developing countriesstill remain very vulnerable to external
shocks,and moreover, we continue to suffer from imported inflation
and the effects of multiple global challenges. The competitiveness of
our products is at disadvantage due to higher cost of moving goods
across borders, which in turn discouraging foreign direct
Furthermore, in most cases, our transit neighborsthemselves
are often found to be broadly of similar economic structure, beset
by scarcities of resources and contribute little to mitigate the effects
of multiple global challenges.
The tasks ahead of us call for bold action to move the issues of
landlocked and transit developing counties high in the global
The global recession has brought to the fore the ever more
urgent need for us to strategically transform our economies,
broaden our productive base, build our resilience and achieve
higher and sustainable economic growth necessary to enhance
investment in social and human development.
No doubt, the timely and effective implementation of the goals
of the Almaty Programmeof Action directly helps the landlocked
developing countries advance toward achieving the internationally
agreed development goals, including the MDGs.
Now that we are only less than two years away from reviewing
the Almaty Program of Action, weneed to be aggressively firm in our
deliberations and actions. We need to voice our concernsand exploit
every available opportunity to promote our development agenda in
all international fora, particularlyin the upcoming High Level
Meeting on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, the UNFCCC Conference of
Parties in Durban and at the Rio+20 Conference next year.
We must be firm in our assertions that even though the
primary responsibility for implementing the Almaty Programme of
Action rests with ourselves, our efforts won’t be effective unless it is
supplemented with the necessary international support measures,
including through South-South and triangular cooperation.
Accordingly, my delegation wishes to see the Office of High
Representative, as mandated by the General Assembly, redoubling
its efforts to assist landlocked and transit developing countries
mobilize adequate resources for the implementation of the
Programme of Action. In this regard, it is the view of my delegation
that the Office be further strengthened to effectively discharge this
important task in the years to come.
While calling on the Office of the High Representative to scale
up its efforts in discharging its duties and responsibilities, my
delegation feels, likewise, that our Group needs to further enhance
its role here in the United Nations if we need to remain active and
effectively advance our agenda.
In similar vein, it gives me great pleasure to inform this august
assembly that my Country signed the Multilateral Agreement on the
Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked
Developing countries yesterday. At this juncture, I would like to
assure youall of my Government’s commitmentfor the realization of
the mandate of the Multilateral Agreement and commend the steps
taken by the Government of Mongolia in advancing the
operationalization of the Think Tank in Ulaanbaatar.
Finally, Excellency,I will be remiss if I fail to express my
Government’s gratification to the Office of High Representative for
the constructive role it had played in the process of the preparation
and adoption of the Istanbul Programme of Action. As you all know,
we, the LDCs, have adopted a new Ten-Year Programme of Action in
Istanbul last May. Thus,In light of the fact that many of the
landlocked and transit developing countriesalso belong to the LDCs
category, we believe the Istanbul Programme of Action and the
review of Brussels would serve as good bases to put Almaty’s
assessment in proper perspective and accurately envisaging its
I thank you.