Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan made remarks at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries

23 September, 2020

On September 23, Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the online Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries on the "Vienna Partnership Action Plan for the Accelerated Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Landlocked Developing Countries".

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, UN Under-Secretary-General, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Foreign Ministers of about two dozen countries and heads of international organizations also participated in the meeting, which was chaired by Mukhtar Tleuberdi, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan. 

In his remarks, Minister Mnatsakanyan thanked his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tleuberdi for Kazakhstan's effective Chairmanship in the UN Group of Landlocked Developing Countries and the efforts towards advancing this very important agenda. The Minister also expressed his deep gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, for his continued support to landlocked developing countries and for constantly raising the needs of landlocked developing countries.  

In his speech, Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan touched upon the new challenges  faced by landlocked countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that within the framework of the global restrictive measures the landlocked developing countries encountered greater limitations on sustainable and inclusive growth. In the context of international cooperation towards mitigating the consequences of the pandemic on landlocked countries, the Foreign Minister of Armenia highlighted the importance of the Vienna Action Plan and the roadmap for its accelerated implementation.

“In this year of global turbulence, major grievances, anxieties and fears, the international community has a historic opportunity to lay the groundwork for meaningful change and to build back better. The risks posed by the COVID-19 have demonstrated that, for the response and recovery efforts to be effective, they need to focus on tackling inequalities, discrimination and lack of inclusion, otherwise, the gaps are likely to remain and increase.  It is important that, together with the disruptions caused by the pandemic, we also look at the pre-existing barriers to development- blockades, unduly discriminating trade regimes and unilateral coercive measures are detrimental to sustainable development and inconsistent with the response and recovery efforts. They undermine not only regional development but peace and security. 

It is almost three decades that Turkey has been denying the right of Armenia to access to and from sea by closing its land borders. This medieval-type siege cannot be justified either by common sense or by international law as it directly violates not only relevant international convention, customary law but also international agreements. 

Armenia is fully committed to effective multilateral cooperation for development at the global, international and regional levels. We continue to view inclusive cooperation between the landlocked and transit countries as an essential prerequisite to removing political barriers for the free movement of people, goods and services, and for the effective realization of the economic and social rights and rights of all peoples, including those residing in conflict areas. The promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, gender equality and inclusion, as well as consolidation of democratic values are key priorities for Armenia, predicated on the idea that human rights are universal for all peoples and individuals in all parts of the world, regardless of geography or status. 

Ensuring human rights-based and people-centered approach remains an ultimate priority for the response and recovery efforts, to which Armenia is fully committed. Investing in people and embracing the national talent as the driver of smart development defines the nature of Armenia’s reform and recovery agenda, with particular emphasis on information and communication technologies, fostering innovation and development of the ICT sector, which is prioritized as an essential tool to lower costs and facilitate access to foreign markets, thus contributing to increase of foreign trade”, noted the Foreign Minister. 

In conclusion the Foreign Minister reiterated Armenia’s full commitment to effective multilateral cooperation in support of the six priority areas of the Vienna Programme of Action and the Roadmap for Accelerated Implementation of the VPOA.

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