H.E. Yoshiyuki Motomura
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
On Item 91(c), "Specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries", and
Item 91(f), "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"
24 October 2003
The adoption of the Almaty Declaration at the Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and the Donor Community on Transit Transport held in Almaty, Kazakhstan was an historic event.
Participating Governments gathered there to address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and establish a new global framework for transit cooperation between landlocked and transit countries, and the result was the adoption of the Almaty Programme of Action.
As Chairman of the second Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for this International Ministerial Conference, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the delegates for their cooperation in reaching agreement on the Almaty Programme of Action. We are confident that this General Assembly will endorse the Almaty Programme of Action by consensus.
Now that the Almaty Declaration is adopted, the next challenge is implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action. In the implementation process, we should keep in mind three points. The first relates to development and rehabilitation of infrastructure. Physical infrastructure, such as roads, ports and bridges is indispensable to improving the transit transport system. My Government has been committed to providing assistance to this field both in landlocked and transit countries. We will continue our support to further improve infrastructure.
Second, simplification or standardization of trade procedures, including customs procedures, is important to ensure smooth and efficient border crossings for LLDCs. My Government attaches great importance to trade facilitation and human capacity-building.
The third relates to regional cooperation. The measures I have mentioned above all require it. Successful regional cooperation on transit transport systems can create a win-win situation by stimulating economies both in landlocked and neighboring transit countries, as we have seen with the Greater Mekong Subregional Development Project.