road africa

Press release

Strengthening collaboration to support world’s 32 landlocked developing countries

6 Oct 2017 New York

The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and IRU renewed their working relationship today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding to draw on their respective strengths in jointly supporting landlocked developing countries to implement the Vienna Programme of Action.

Through the MoU, the two entities will advocate for key issues related to transport. These include: improving border crossings, developing regional transport corridors, private sector partnerships and trade facilitation for the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and their transit partners. Furthermore, the two organisations will assist LLDCs and transit neighbours to improve transport operations. Joint action-oriented projects are also envisioned under the MoU, with a view to assist LLDCs in implementing the Vienna Programme of Action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The UN-OHRLLS and IRU have had a long and productive collaboration through our common goal of supporting landlocked developing countries to reach their fullest potential,” said Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. “With this MoU, we are continuing to strengthen our joint activities to ensure that there is greater coherence in our collective efforts to raise awareness of the special needs and challenges these countries face at the national, regional and global levels.”

signing of upgraded MoU
IRU's Jens Hügel, Head of Goods Transport and Sustainable Development with Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of UN-OHRLLS.

Recent collaboration between UN-OHRLLS and IRU includes a high level meeting for the Euro-Asia Region on Improving Cooperation on Transit, Trade Facilitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development held in March 2017 in Viet Nam, which was co-organised by UN-OHRLLS and the Government of Viet Nam, with IRU’s support.

Secretary General of IRU, Umberto de Pretto said, “The upgrading of the MoU between IRU and UN-OHRLLS underscores a mutual recognition that TIR has immense potential to transform LLDCs from ‘landlocked to land-linked’ countries.  We are seizing the opportunity to enhance our long history of cooperation, with a more dynamic framework to meet the transport related targets of the UN SDG indicators with the promotion of TIR, and the professionalisation and digitalisation of road transport in these countries – ultimately to facilitate trade and boost prosperity.”

Landlocked developing countries are categorised as such due to their lack of direct access to the sea and remoteness from major markets. They also have small populations and equally small markets and face structural challenges, infrastructure deficiencies and productivity constraints. The international community adopted the Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries in 2014 to address the special needs of the LLDCs. 

 

Contacts

Karen Mazzoli, IRU
Senior Manager, Media and Communications 
Karen.Mazzoli@iru.org


Damien Sass, UN-OHRLLS
Public Information Officer
sass@un.org 

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