Zambia Minister of Transport and Communication, Honourable Brian Mushimba says enhanced transport, mobility and connectivity are indispensable investments vital for overcoming the geographical constraints of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and linking them to regional and global markets.
And His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, has commended His Excellency Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, for hosting the High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Transport of LLDCs and wished all delegates fruitful deliberations.
Delivering a statement in Zambia’s capacity as chair of the 32-member of the LLDCs at the High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Transport of LLDCs in Bolivian capital Santa Cruz on Thursday, Mr. Mushimba said more resources were needed towards the achievement of sustainable transport.
Mr. Mushimba, who is the Ministerial Global chair of the LLDCs Bureau, called on development partners, the United Nations system, international financing institutions and development banks as well as the private sector to enhance financial and technical assistance to landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries for the sustainable and inclusive development of transport.
“As a Group, we have been advocating for dedicated funding and special facilities for infrastructure development and maintenance for the LLDCs, which we believe are critical in supporting our national efforts,” Mr. Mushimba said. “We are keen to ensure that the International Think Tank becomes fully operational as this will provide top-quality research on issues of critical importance to the LLDCs, including transport and transit issues.”
He called on LLDC Group all members to ratify the Multilateral Agreement on the establishment of the International Think Tank for the LLDCs.
“We have come together less than two months before the Global Sustainable Transport Conference taking place in Turkmenistan in November. Let us take this opportunity to consolidate a strong common position of our Group that we can take with us to the Global Conference,” Mr. Mushimba said.
The Minister said Zambia, as Chair of the LLDCs, was committed to finding solutions to the challenges faced by the LLDCs Group.
Mr. Mushimba recalled that LLDCs Foreign Affairs Minister’s meeting on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly 71st Session High-Level segment last month in New York discussed important issues on fostering coherence in the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other global development frameworks, as well as follow-up processes.
He said the meeting was resolved to illuminate the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs as a necessary requirement for integration of the LLDCs into the global economy and for achievement of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“As LLDCs, we cannot attain the Sustainable Development Goals without realising the priority goals of the Vienna Programme. At the national level, I urge all member states to mainstream the Vienna Programme of Action into national development strategies. This is the first and crucial step towards implementation,” Mr. Mushimba said.
He said the Vienna Programme of Action prioritises transport and transit infrastructure not only as a means of facilitating regional integration, but also as an enabler of sustainable development for the LLDCs.
“We also recognise the transformative potential of transport for structural economic change in the LLDCs. Infrastructure development and maintenance, including transport infrastructure, is rightfully reflected as the second priority of the Vienna Programme of Action,” Mr. Mushimba said. “For LLDCs, close cooperation with our transit neighbours on transport is a necessity for enhancing connectivity.”
The minister said development of transit and transport corridors and closer cooperation on improving the soft infrastructure, harmonization of transit regulations and procedures and trade facilitation measures have been effective in reducing the high transport costs and delays.
The statement was issued by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations, Mr Chibaula D Silwamba