Your Excellency Mr. Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Global Chair of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries,
Mme. Under Secretary-General, Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States,
As Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) – the only global intergovernmental organisation exclusively dedicated to advancing the rule of law to promote peace and sustainable development - I am most grateful for this opportunity to reiterate IDLO’s support to the Group of Land-Locked Developing Countries, and to the Office of the High Representative, in your efforts to accelerate the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action.
The COVID-19 pandemic is magnifying the special challenges that LLDCs, because of their geographic situation, face in their development path. A geographic situation that makes them especially vulnerable to the supply constraints, closures of borders, transport disruptions and economic turmoil that have accompanied the spread of the virus.
IDLO is committed to ensure that both our programmes and our advocacy are geared to support the effort of the United Nations to promote a recovery from the pandemic that will enable us to respond to the Secretary General's appeal to “build back better".
“Building back better” must encompass the effort to establish a more level playing field in international economic relations and a strengthening of partnerships at all levels. It must also be a rule of law-based response and should encompass the whole range of adverse consequences on trade, investment and private sector development brought about by the pandemic.
IDLO is ready to do its part, building on our work in a number of landlocked countries, including Mongolia, Uganda and countries in the Sahel region. And on our close collaboration with the Office of the High Representative that has led to the launch of an Investment Support Program for the Least Developed Countries (ISP/LDCs).
IDLO is implementing this Programme drawing on a roster of law firms committed to providing their services on a pro-bono basis. The Programme extends no-cost legal and technical assistance, and related capacity building in investment negotiations and dispute settlements, to LDC governments and eligible private sector entities.
While conceived as a dedicated programme for LDCs, it provides a public/private partnership model that can be extended to other groups of developing countries.
IDLO’s contribution can include policy, legislative and regulatory support, as well as capacity building for international trade and investment.
It can include legal support in the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, complementing efforts by partners such as UNCTAD and the World Trade Organization.
IDLO can also provide legal and policy support to investment promotion agencies, by working with partners in the design and implementation of reforms necessary to strengthen the enabling environment for foreign direct investment.
IDLO looks forward to being an integral part of this multilateral effort. I hope it will be inspired by the renewed commitment to multilateralism called for in the Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, adopted at the outset of this General Assembly.
The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.