Expert Group Meeting on the Midterm Review of Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024
The Vienna Programme of Action was adopted in November 2014 during the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries. It is the principal programme of the United Nations that addresses issues related to development of states that lack direct access to the sea. This geographical constraint impedes their ability for international economic interaction and consequently makes development a more strenuous process. The overarching goal of the Vienna Programme of Action “is to address the special development needs and challenges of landlocked developing countries arising from landlockedness, remoteness and geographical constraints in a more coherent manner and thus contribute to an enhanced rate of sustainable and inclusive growth, which can contribute to the eradication of poverty by moving towards the goal of ending extreme poverty”.
Taking into the consideration the particular predicaments of landlocked developing countries, of which there are 12 in Asia and the Pacific, the Vienna Programme of Action identifies several priorities of action. These include: fundamental transit policy issues (priority 1); infrastructure development and maintenance (priority 2), which includes transport infrastructure (priority 2a) and energy and communications technology infrastructure (priority 2b); international trade (priority 3a) and trade facilitation (priority 3b); regional integration and cooperation (priority 4); and structural economic transformation (priority 5). The final priority (number 6) refers to means of implementation.
Through the adoption of Resolution A/RES/72/232, “Follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries”, the General Assembly has decided to convene a comprehensive high-level midterm review of the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014–2024 in 2019, to assess progress made in its implementation. As highlighted in Resolution A/C.2//72/L.62, this high-level midterm review is to be preceded by regional preparatory meetings. This preparatory meeting will be preceded by an expert group meeting aimed at discussing the progress made, contributing to the preparation of the Asia-Pacific regional midterm review and addressing the challenges related to VPoA implementation.
UNESCAP, UNCTAD and UNECE therefore organize a 2-day expert group meeting, which will discuss the status of implementation of the priorities of the Vienna Programme of Action in Asia-Pacific landlocked developing countries and provide sectoral capacity building for landlocked developing countries. The outcome of the meeting will feed into the Mid-term Review of the Vienna Programme of Action.