Statement by Dr. Asad M. Khan, Minister, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations on Agenda Item 52: Groups of countries in special situations, sub-items (a) Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries; and (b) Specific actions related to the special needs and problems of landlocked developing countries and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation (New York, 4 November 2008)

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset my delegation wishes to fully align with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

  1. The consideration of this agenda item provides an opportunity to review the circumstances of countries in special situations with particular focus on the LDCs and LLDCs and to assess the status of implementation of commitments made to advance their sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. Our deliberations assume special significance this year, as we meet in the midst of an unfolding development emergency manifested by a confluence of multiple crises of finance, food and fuel.
  2. As the financial crisis deepens further and the world moves closer to a global recession, the situation poses a set of complex and daunting challenges for the developing countries in particular the LDCs, LLDCs and others in special situations. A few of the challenges we face are:
    • First, effective implementation of the development commitments that already suffered from serious implementation deficit is going to come under greater stress. The message from the various reviews carried out since 2006 particularly including Brussels Program of Action and the Almaty Programme of Action has been clear: firstly; implementation is the biggest challenge; and secondly, lack of finances still remains the greatest obstacle in realizing the development promises and commitments made.
    • Second, even the important development gains and progress achieved by the countries in special situations in the achievement of IADGs and MDGs over the last decade is seriously threatened and likely to be rolled back on account of the relentless financial turmoil and other accompanying crises.
    • Third, pushing quite well performing economies into the ranks of those that are deemed to be in special situations on account of serious financial and economic distress, even if not necessarily falling in the two recognized categories.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. Pakistan strongly believes that the UN system in close collaboration with the BWIs should carry out an urgent and comprehensive stocktaking of the situation with a view to assessing and evaluating the impact of the present crises on the efforts of the LDCs, LLDCs and other developing countries in distress in achieving the IADGs and MDGs.
  2. The review should also include a set of specific measures and efforts that needs to be taken: first, to allow these countries in sustaining the momentum of growth that they had over the years; second, to scale up their efforts in moving to the next higher development level with the support and assistance of the international community in line with the commitments made. Such support must be immediate, adequate, grant based and conditionality free.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. Pakistan strongly supports both LDCs and LLDCs in their quest for greater and across the board recognition of their special needs both financial and technical. We also remain committed to helping them within our limited means to overcome the formidable obstacles and pursue their development goals.
  2. Pakistan welcomes the Secretary-Generalís note on the outline of modalities of the Fourth UN Conference on LDCs, which includes recommendations for its preparatory process at the national, regional and global levels.
  3. We hope that the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries will undertake a comprehensive review of the implementation of international support measures and chalk out a roadmap for future actions to advance the development needs and concerns of the LDCs.
  4. Pakistan, as a transit developing country also actively participates in the process of Almaty Programme of Action (APoA) and remains committed to providing easy, efficient and expeditious transit access to our landlocked neighbors to help them expand their international trade.
  5. In fact promoting regional connectivity and to make Pakistan a regional transit hub is an integral part and central pillar of our national vision for trade and transport sector. Pakistanís location at the crossroads of South, Central and West Asia is indeed helpful in this regard.

I thank you Mr. Chairman