unctad.org | UNCTAD Briefing - Vienna Programme of Action for the LLDCs: Assessment of Progress & the Way Forward
UNCTAD Briefing - Vienna Programme of Action for the LLDCs: Assessment of Progress & the Way Forward
24 October 2019
Conference Room E
New York, United States of America

Key Issues


To share UNCTAD’s assessment of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries for the decade 2014-2024 (VPoA), and exchange views on the way forward.

Five years into its implementation, UNCTAD’s assessments show that progress has fallen far short of what is needed to meet the VPoA’s goals. In some areas, LLDCs have regressed. Average GDP growth fell sharply from 5.2% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2016. While growth recovered to 4.4% in 2018, it remains below the average of 6% achieved in the decade prior to the VPoA. Similarly, despite the goal to substantially increase the participation of LLDCs in trade, their share of global merchandise exports fell from 1.1% in 2014 to 0.8% in 2016, before recovering to 0.97% in 2018. LLDCs continue to be heavily commodity-dependent, and their average share of manufacturing in total value added has decreased.

In UNCTAD’s view, this demonstrates that the commodity-driven path to inclusive and sustainable economic growth is not helping LLDCs make progress towards achieving the VPoA and the SDGs. Therefore, a new generation of development policies and strategies are urgently needed. They should focus on fostering productive capacities and structural  economic transformation. They also require enhanced
domestic resources mobilization and a big push from development partners  to realign international support mechanisms with the development polices of LLDCs, including rebalancing  the allocation of development aid.

Key questions to be addressed

  • Where do LLDCs stand in the implementation of key priority areas of the VPoA?
  • What domestic policies are needed to accelerate progress towards meeting the goals?
  • What international support measures are needed to complement domestic efforts by LLDCs and transit countries?
  • What is the role of regional cooperation, especially between LLDCs and transit countries in enhancing export competitiveness and facilitating integration into the global economy?


Representatives of LLDCs, transit countries and development partners are invited to contribute to the discussion.


Mr. Mussie Delelegn

Mr. Moritz Meier-Ewert


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