About the conference

The United Nations Ministerial Transport Conference "Ashgabat process: financing for better connectivity"

On August 15-16 Ashgabat will host the United Nations Ministerial Transport Conference for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) "Ashgabat process: financing for better connectivity".

The 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) with a population of 533 million share common problems due to their geographical location, which affect their economic engagement with the rest of the world. Long distances from the nearest seaports, poorly developed transport and transit systems and cumbersome transit procedures cause the LLDCs to incur higher transport and transit costs when compared to coastal countries. LLDCs are also experiencing severe impact of climate change in the form of flooding, droughts, and landslides that are causing terrible loss and damage to transport infrastructure. Therefore, it is essential to address the special needs and challenges faced by the LLDCs through actions on six key priority areas that include fundamental transit policy issues, infrastructure development, international trade and trade facilitation, regional integration, structural economic transformation and means of implementation.

United Nations has held two Global Sustainable Transport Conferences to provide an opportunity to focus attention on the opportunities, challenges and solutions towards achieving sustainable transport worldwide.

  • The first Global Sustainable Transport Conference took place in November 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Its outcome – the Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations
  • The second Global Sustainable Transport Conference was held in Beijing, China in hybrid format in October 2021. The outcome of the Conference – the Beijing Statement of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference

It is in this context that the Government of Turkmenistan, and the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), are organizing in hybrid format a Ministerial Transport Conference for Landlocked Developing Countries. The Conference will be part of the preparatory process of Third United Nations Conference on LLDCs in 2024 and its outcome will contribute towards the thematic area of transport.

Relevant meetings of the Group of LLDCs on transport include:

  • LLDCs’ Ministerial Meeting on Trade held in November 2021;
  • Global Meeting on Best Practices in Corridor Development and Management for the Benefit of Landlocked Developing Countries and Transit Countries held in Mongolia in October 2019;
  • High-level Meeting on Sustainable Transport of LLDCs –in October 2016 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia;
  • High-Level Meeting for the Euro-Asia Region on Improving Cooperation on Transit, Trade Facilitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development held in Hanoi, Viet Nam in March 2017;
  • Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Transport held in May 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The key objectives of the Ministerial Conference include the following:

• Review the progress made by the LLDCs on sustainable transport and the related SDGs, and identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges;

• Review the critical role of transport for post-COVID-19 recovery and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

• Share knowledge, experiences and innovative approaches/solutions for post-COVID 19 infrastructure financing, delivery, and resilience, including the mobilization of financing for transport infrastructure development and maintenance; and

• Identify recommendations and opportunities for: enhancing transport infrastructure development and maintenance in LLDCs; scaling up international support on transport; and strengthening cooperation on transport connectivity for the benefit of LLDCs. These recommendations will seek to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, and feed into the Third United Nations Conference on LLDCs in 2024.

Expected outcomes of the Ministerial Conference include the following:

• Policy recommendations and priorities on how to develop and further ameliorate transport connectivity in order to improve trade potential of the LLDCs in the context of COVID-19 recovery; and how to further mobilize resources to promote transport connectivity of the LLDCs.

• Enhanced commitment and momentum to expand partnerships to advance COVID-19 recovery and to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

• Through the Conference’s outcome document, contribute perspectives of the LLDCs to the preparations of the Third United Nations Conference on LLDCs to be held in 2024.