Statement by Dr. Asad M. Khan, Minister, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations on Agenda Item 56:Groups of Countries in Special Situations (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, 20 October 2009)

Mr. Chairman,

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

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,

We thank the Secretary General for his useful Reports, which provide a good basis for our discussion under this important agenda item.

The reports clearly point to the significant gaps in the implementation of commitments made to address the development challenges faced by the LDCs and LLDCs. Unfortunately, the global development emergency that the world confronts today, further undermines the implementation of those commitments.

Experts believe that the second round effects of the global financial crisis will adversely impact the achievement of development goals by LDcs and LLDCs.

In some cases, even the important development gains, already made over the last decade, may reverse on account of the relentless financial turmoil and other accompanying crises.

A real possibility thus exist of some of the well performing economies being pushed into the ranks of the poor and vulnerable, if this trend continues.

Mr. Chairman,

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 countries in special situations.

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.

Mr. Chairman,

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.

We are confident that the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries will play a critical role in restoring the momentum of development to the poorest people and 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.

Pakistan looks forward to an early decision on the preparatory process for the Conference and to contributing to it actively.

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.

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.

Mr. Chairman,

The development crises that the world confronts today, threatens to further increase the vulnerabilities and expose the developmental fault lines of the poor and already vulnerable countries.

Climate Change in particular poses a transformational challenge to all the countries and has indeed added a new dimension to the vulnerability debate.

The situation demands an ever more vigilant monitoring of the global scenario with a view to accurately assessing the country vulnerabilities and how these crises particularly Climate Change are impacting the poor countries.

We, therefore, support a science based approach to determine country vulnerabilities with a view to an accurate assessment and quantification of all risks and their adverse impacts.

We believe that CDP, given its close involvement in country classification issues, can play a very important role in bringing a comprehensive approach and perspective to the question of vulnerabilities by benefiting from the work done by others and by closely liaising with them.

We urge the CDP to carry out a full and comprehensive review of the question of country classification based on a new, comprehensive and science based definition of vulnerability covering physical, economic and climate related aspects.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.