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Enhancing transport connectivity as a driver for sustainable economies in the region


On December 14-15, 2023, a Ministerial Meeting on the theme "Enhancing equitable, affordable and inclusive transport connectivity for sustainable and resilient economies" organized with the direct assistance of the Office of the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States was held in Yerevan (Armenia).


This meeting became an official thematic event on the eve of the Third Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries to be held in June 2024 in Kigali.

The event was attended by more than 30 foreign delegations, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Transport, as well as Deputy Ministers of Transport of TRACECA member-states, in particular Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Among the official delegations are representatives of international organizations, such as the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Landlocked Developing Countries, Ms. Rabab Fatima, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Ms. Tatiana Molcean, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, Mr. Asset Assavbayev, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, etc.

During the panel sessions, the meeting participants were given the opportunity to speak and exchange views at the ministerial level on the strategic importance of transport links for the programme of action for LLDCs in the next decade, share national and regional experiences on progress made, challenges and opportunities in improving transport links.

The speakers also discussed lessons learned on the development of transport connectivity within the framework of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA), presenting a vision and recommendations on measures/initiatives that could be pursued to achieve accelerated progress in the field of transit transport and connectivity in landlocked developing countries.

As the keynote speaker of the Panel Session 1, Mr. Asset Assavbayev, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA emphasized that "Freedom of transit and transit infrastructure play a key role in the overall development of landlocked developing countries. Since the adoption of the Programme of Action, a number of infrastructure projects have been actively implemented in the countries, which has a positive effect on the capacity of the corridors as a whole”.  

Mr. Assavbayev A.A. said that " for many years, the Permanent Secretariat has been working to improve connectivity between regions, and today continues to develop initiatives to simplify and harmonize legal norms, reduce the time of cargo transportation and border crossing, develop multimodal transport and digitalization, which are also provided for in the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for Landlocked Developing Countries”.

As a recommendation, the importance of well coordination of activities within the framework of harmonization of the capacity of the border infrastructure, data exchange, development of physical and soft infrastructure was noted.

For reference:

• 8 out of 14 TRACECA countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) also are under the UNOHRLLS mandate.
The current program document of the UNOHRLLS for landlocked developing countries is the "Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the decade 2014-2024". Among 6 general goals and objectives of this document, at least 4 coincide with the MLA goals and objectives and the directions of the PS IGC TRACECA activity:
- promotion of the freedom of transit,
- simplification and standardization of procedures related to international transport,
- development of transport infrastructure, including intermodal links and
- promotion of regional integration.
In addition, among the six priority areas of this document, two are directly related to international transport - "Fundamental transit policy issues" and "Infrastructure development and maintenance". Each of these directions also includes specific goals that are similar to the general goals of the Vienna Programme of Action and coincide with the PS IGC TRACECA activity.  

• Currently, the issue of holding a solemn ceremony of signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the PS IGC TRACECA and UNOHRLLS is being considered.


Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA