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Strengthening transport connectivity in the SPECA region and beyond in the era of COVID-19

29 September 2020

Lack of territorial access to the sea and high transport and transit costs impose constraints on the overall socio-economic development and trade competitiveness of the countries that are part of the UN Special Progamme for the economies of Central Asia (SPECA), all of which are landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) too. LLDCs pay more than double what coastal countries do to export their goods and high trade costs erode the competitiveness of the LLDCs resulting in an enormous negative impact on their overall sustainable development.

The current situation in the world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has revealed a number of economic problems that require coordinated action by all countries and international organizations.  Amongst others, consolidated approaches are required in such critical area as international inland transport and connectivity. Lockdowns, border closures and restrictions imposed by countries as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have caused serious disruptions of supply chains and citizen’s mobility, which have exacerbated consequences for LLDCs, including the SPECA countries.
The Regional Dialogue is organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and Pacific, the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and the United Nations Resident Coordinator Offices in SPECA countries, Georgia and Turkey.

The overall objective of the Regional Dialogue is to facilitate an inclusive discussion and coordinate actions and plans on harmonization of international inland transport procedures to enhance connectivity in the SPECA region and beyond, especially at times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions will be guided by the UN transport-related legal framework, Outcome of the 1st International Conference on sustainable transport, the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs, as well as the UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19 pandemic. The event will geographically cover countries that are part of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies in Central Asia (SPECA Programme), namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and beyond, including Georgia and Turkey.

Concept Note

Agenda: English / Russian

Conclusions: English / Russian


Opening speech

PDF Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UNECE

PDF Ms. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)

PDF HE Mr. Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkmenistan

PDF Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, Director, DCO Regional Office in Europe and Central Asia

PDF Mr. Nikolay Pomoshchnikov, acting Head, ESCAP Sub-regional Office for North and Central Asia

Session I. Policies and regulations for transport connectivity and legal framework for enhanced international transport

PDF Mr. Yuwei Li, Director, Sustainable Transport Division, UNECE

PDF Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP

PDF Ms. Gladys Mutangadura, Senior Programme Officer, Landlocked Developing Countries Unit, UN-OHRLLS

PDF Mr. Akaki Saghirashvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia

PDF Mr. Ruslan Baimishev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development, Kazakhstan

PDF ENG  PDF RUS Ms. Shoista Saidmurodzoda, Deputy Minister of Transport, Tajikistan

PDF Mr. Azat Atamyradov, Chairman/State Ministerof Türkmendemirýollary, Turkmenistan

PDF Mr. Davron Dekhkanov, Deputy Minister of Transport, Uzbekistan

Session II. Multi-stakeholder cooperation on regional connectivity, transport corridors and integrated multimodal transport systems

PDF Ms. Ashita Mittal, Regional Representative for Central Asia, UNODC

PDF Mr. Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Chief of Section, Sustainable Transport Division UNECE

PDF Ms. Azhar Jaimurzina Ducrest, Chief of Section, Transport Division ESCAP

PDF Mr. Pawan Karki, Senior Transport Specialist and Transport Team Leader for Uzbekistan, ADB/CAREC

PDF Ms. Ekaterina Miroshnik, Director, Head for Infrastructure-Eurasia, EBRD