The Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres addressed the participants of the International Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries in Turkmenistan with a written message.

The message was read out by the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing State of the United Nations, Ms. Rabab Fatima.

The welcoming address of the head of the UN expresses gratitude to the Government of Turkmenistan and all the participants of the conference for coming together and concentrating on an important issue - the development of transport in developing countries that do not have access to the sea.

Noting the obstacles that stand in the way of improving transport interdependence in landlocked countries, the UN Secretary General in his message identified as the main ones the existence of adequate infrastructure that exacerbates inequality and is vulnerable to climate change, a large number of border crossing points, complex administrative transit and border procedures. Additional challenges cited by the COVID-19 pandemic included transportation delays, high transportation costs and supply chain disruptions.

The message of A. Guterres noted the importance of joint action to return the transport sector to the previous development path, as well as the fact that landlocked developing countries can count on the full commitment of the United Nations.

The message concluded with the importance of working together to take full advantage of innovation and technology to solve the challenges of geography and join forces to advance sustainable transport and provide real connectivity for landlocked developing countries.