Mrs.Dewi Savitri Wahab
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia
on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
on Agenda Item 23: Group of Countries in Special Situations
at the Second Committee of the 65th Session
of the UN General Assembly
New York, 18 October 2010
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of ASEAN Member States. ASEAN associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Yemen on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
ASEAN thanks the Secretary-General for his comprehensive reports relating to this agenda item, and commends Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser for Africa and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), for his introductory remark.
There have been some positive developments since the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the Decade 2001-2010 was adopted a decade ago. Action by the least developed countries and their development partners in this period of time has resulted in economic and social growth in LDCs. One country has been able to graduate from the group and two more countries are scheduled to graduate before the Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDC in 2011.
However, being in the last year of the Programme of Action, it is a matter of deep concern that much remains to be done under the BPoA. Many factors beyond the control of the LDCs have eroded the gains made by the LDCs. This includes the recent severe effects of the food, energy and financial crises, and climate change. LDCs face slow economic growth, lack of productive capacity coupled with limited diversification, diminished resources, limited trading opportunities. While the LDCs are striving hard to attain progress, they are unlikely to meet most of the targets of the BPoA and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Against this backdrop, the commitments to building genuine global partnership for development between the LDCs’ governments and their development partners embodied in the BPoA should be reaffirmed and further strengthened. To accelerate progress towards the MDGs, there should be renewed focus on:
strengthening productive capacities of the LDCs to withstand external shock;
promoting agriculture development;
strengthening resources mobilization;
improving market access;
managing climate change and ensuring a new green deal for the LDCs;
enhancing universal access to essential services;
ASEAN looks forward to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs to be held in May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. The successful outcome of the Conference will be vital in addressing the myriad of development challenges of the LDCs through an ambitious, comprehensive, forward-looking and result-oriented framework for the next decade.
The Almaty Programme of Action (APoA) for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) has been a sound framework for partnership with transit developing countries and developed partners. Some progress has been achieved in the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action. The High Level Plenary Meeting of the Sixty-third Session of the General Assembly dedicated to the Midterm Review of the APoA was also an important event to mobilize further action.
Despite the best efforts of the LLDCs, overall they continue to be marginalized from international trade, and face challenges in their efforts to establish transit transport systems. Given the inherent geographical difficulties of the landlocked developing countries due to the lack of territorial access to the sea, the LLDCs are on a disadvantaged development path. Their disadvantage is compounded by the long distance from world markets, inadequate transport infrastructure and cumbersome border crossing procedures. These challenges undermine their economic growth and have major ramifications for social and environmental aspects of development. These factors prevent them from fully harnessing the potential of trade as an engine of sustained economic growth and development, and achieving their development goals, including the MDGs.
The Almaty Programme of Action, with its overarching goal of forging partnerships to overcome the special problems of LLDCs, contributes directly to the achievement of MDGs. The international community should address the special development concerns and needs of the LLDCs, through increased financial support to help them accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs.
ASEAN is committed to improve the capacity and capability of Member States, particularly the less developed ones. ASEAN Cooperation includes various initiatives, programs and work plans devoted to narrowing the development gap among the ASEAN Member States. These specific efforts also address the LDCs and LLDC in ASEAN. We are confident that such efforts will enhance ASEAN’s community-building process. Accordingly, we look forward to a successful 3rd Initiative for ASEAN Integration Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF), which aims to mobilize resources for the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) projects and activities.
ASEAN reaffirms the importance of an efficient transport system as a key priority for integrating with the global economy, improving competitiveness and enhancing the inflow of foreign direct investment. ASEAN acknowledges the progress in the development of the ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan (ASTP) 2011 – 2015 that will support the realization of ASEAN Connectivity in 2015. The ASTP will also provide the vision of ASEAN transport cooperation beyond 2015. Moreover, ASEAN is preparing an important step in speeding up the completion of all necessary regulatory and procedural foundations for the implementation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGT), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Multimodal Transport (AFAMT), and ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Inter-State Transport (AFAFIST) to facilitate seamless movement of goods in the region.
In conclusion, ASEAN would like to reiterate the importance of further strengthening effective and close cooperation between the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, and their development partners to respectively implement and realize the Brussels Programme of Action and the Almaty Programme of Action.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org