Source: Small Island Developing States
30 October 2018: The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) announced that the permanent representatives of Bhutan and Austria will facilitate the intergovernmental negotiations related to the comprehensive high-level midterm review on the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), which will take place in 2019. The midterm review seeks to assess progress made by the LLDCs, transit countries and development partners in the implementation of the VPoA, which covers the decade 2014-2024.
The VPoA was adopted in November 2014 during the Second UN Conference on LLDCs. It addresses the challenges faced by LLDCs by focusing on six priority areas: fundamental transit policy issues; infrastructure development and maintenance; international trade and trade facilitation; regional integration and cooperation; structural economic transformation; and means of implementation.
On 30 October 2018, UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés informed Member States that Doma Tshering, Permanent Representative of Bhutan, and Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria, will co-facilitate the intergovernmental negotiations related to the midterm review of VPoA implementation, with a view to producing a political declaration.
The high-level midterm review is referred to in UNGA resolution 72/232 on the follow-up to the second UN Conference on LLDCs. Per the resolution, the UNGA decides to convene a comprehensive high-level midterm review no later than December 2019, as called for in paragraph 78 of the VPoA. According to the website of the UN Office of the High Representative for the least developed countries, LLDCs, and small island developing States (OHRLLS), the conference will take place in November 2019, following national, regional and global-level preparations. As part of this preparatory process, the website outlines national reviews from March to December 2018, regional review meetings in February, March and July 2019, and pre-conference thematic events from May 2018 through late 2019. OHRLLS is in charge of coordinating the Conference’s preparatory process, with support from relevant UN system organizations.
Resolution 72/232 states that the midterm review should enable the sharing of best practices and lessons learned, and identify obstacles and constraints encountered, actions and initiatives needed to overcome them, and new challenges and emerging issues. The resolution also requests the UN Secretary-General to submit to the 73rd session of the UNGA (2018-2019) a report on VPoA implementation. [UNGA President Letter on Co-facilitators’ Appointment] [OHRLLS Midterm Review Webpage] [UNGA resolution 72/232 on the follow-up to the second UN Conference on LLDCs]