An international conference at the level of ministers of transport of developing landlocked countries opened in the city of Turkmenbashi on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea. The forum, held on the initiative of Ashgabat under the auspices of the UN, is attended by delegations from about 40 states and over 30 international organizations.
The conference was opened by a video message from President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, during which the head of state put forward new international initiatives in the transport sector for landlocked countries.
The head of Turkmenistan, in particular, proposed to consider the issue of creating a special working group under the auspices of the UN, which would purposefully defend the interests of landlocked countries in the transport sector and introduced this activity into the system of work of the relevant UN structures.
The Turkmen leader also proposed to develop a resolution of the UN General Assembly on enhancing the role of landlocked developing countries in the development of global transport cooperation. According to him, "such a document is able to give a meaningful impetus to the promotion of the interests of states, indicate the significance and understanding of the relevant problems, and the commitment of the world community to their solution."
UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the participants of the International Conference at the level of Ministers of Transport of Landlocked Developing Countries with a welcoming message. The UN Deputy Secretary General Rabab Fatima read out the text of the message of the UN head to the forum participants via video link.
The message expresses gratitude to the government of Turkmenistan and all forum participants for discussing the issue of transport development in developing countries that do not have access to the sea. The UN Secretary-General noted that transport connectivity is critical to the future of all countries, reducing the cost of trade and improving access to global markets, promoting the integration of economies and people, strengthening connections, and achieving sustainable development goals.
“We must work together to get the transport industry back on the path to development for landlocked countries. We must ensure that those who live in smaller communities are not left behind, we must direct all sources of funding to this. ", Guterres said. He also, on behalf of the UN, expressed readiness to hold the third conference of landlocked countries in 2024.
The speeches of the conference participants touched upon the problems of integrating the transport systems of developing landlocked countries into global traffic flows on an equal, mutually beneficial basis. The particular urgency of this issue in the post-pandemic period was highlighted.
Within the framework of the forum, bilateral meetings were also held between representatives of Turkmenistan and delegations of a number of foreign countries. During these meetings, prospects for expanding cooperation were discussed, taking into account projects to create new transport corridors, designed to give a powerful impetus to the development of economic relations at the regional and global levels.
The International Conference on Transport for Landlocked Countries continues its work .