The International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


The project is a part of Government of Mongolia and UNDP Agreement in the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) to cooperate in the operationalization of the International Think Tank (ITT) for Landlocked Developing Countries (ITT-LLDC) in Ulaanbaatar. The ITT is aimed at providing support for strategic interventions to enhance the development prospects of all LLDCs including Mongolia.

Lack of territorial access to the sea and remoteness from major growth poles and markets is often translated into high transport and transit costs for LLDCs. These additional costs impose severe constraints on socio-economic development, including on country competitiveness and human development outcomes.

In Mongolia's case, the economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors and therefore extremely vulnerable to their economic performance. As a landlocked country, Mongolia and other LLDCs need to look beyond their immediate neighbors and diversify their sources and destinations of imports and exports, greater engagement in regional and global trade, better management of transport and transit arrangements and sharing knowledge and experiences will be critical. The ITT will provide platform for such knowledge sharing, support for intra-LLDC collaboration and other South-South engagement as well as for global cooperation.

This project will contribute to this outcome through the operationalization of the ITT which will play a role in the sharing of experiences, information exchange, consultation, brokering and common positioning on pro-poor trade policies, transport and transit-related development strategies for LLDCs.

Under the interim director nominated by the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with UNDP support, it is envisaged that the project will be implemented in parallel with ongoing processes of signing the Multilateral Agreement by the LLDC parties at the UN in New York and ratification in the respective LLDC capitals.

Brief History of ITT

2003- The idea of establishing a think tank for LLDCs originates in the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries, Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

2006- The idea of having a think tank for LLDCs became an initiative when the President of Mongolia addressed a meeting of LLDCs heads of state in Havana.

2007- A Global Event of Landlocked Developing Countries and Transit Countries on Trade and Trade Facilitation, held in Ulaanbaatar conducted a mid-term review of the Almaty Programme. At the conference, LLDCs agreed to set up an international think-tank, which could be located in Ulaanbaatar.

2007-2008- The UN General Assembly in 2007 adopted the Ulaanbaatar declaration and in 2008 passed a resolution welcoming “the proposal to set up an international think tank in Ulaanbaatar to enhance the analytical capability of landlocked developing countries needed to maximise the efficiency of our coordinated efforts for the effective implementations of the internationally agreed provisions, particularly the Almaty Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals”.

April 2009- UNESCAP adopted a resolution entitled “Support for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries”.

July 2009- ‘The International Think Tank for LLDCs’ was officially launched in Ulaanbaatar by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and H.E. S.Batbold, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

2009- The UN-General Assembly adopted the resolution A/RES/64/214, welcoming the establishment of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar.

September 2013 The official website of the ITT was launched.

December 2013 A lecture titled “Economic Development in a Land-Locked Country: The Case of Lao PDR”, organised by the ITT and the Japanese Embassy in Mongolia, was given by Mr. Norihiko Yamada, Researcher of Developing Economies, JETRO.

2014- 3-year project document for “Operationalization of the International Think Tank for LLDCs” was signed between the UNDP and the Government of Mongolia on January 15.

Goal and objectives

UNDAF Outcome(s): Economic development in inclusive and equitable, contributing towards poverty alleviation

Expected Output(s): Pro-Poor and trade policies supported, through promoting global and South-south Cooperation.

The 3-year project for operationalization of the International Think Tank will work within the implementation of the following outputs and activities:

1. Establishment of a fully operational and well-resourced ITT within a secure legal framework

  • Drafting of the Charter of the International Think Tank including its Modus Operandi;
  • Networking of the International Think Tank;
  • Financial capacity strengthened;
  • Improvement of the legal framework of the ITT;

2. Substantive outputs delivered in the form of research papers and used for policy debate

  • Negotiating capacity of Mongolia and LLDCs is to be improved;
  • State of the art ITT’s web site and interactive web based platform are to be accessible worldwide;

3. Substantive outputs delivered from the ITT are to be used for policy debate and design of the Government of Mongolia

  • Research papers and reports are to be translated into Mongolian and used for policy debate and design in Government of Mongolia;
  • Special events are to be organized in Mongolia;
  • Sea access for Mongolia is to be explored;

Outputs will be demonstrated by:

  • Strengthened capacities in knowledge;
  • Established institutional framework (legal and technical);
  • Availability of tools and best practices;  

Current activities:

  • Recruitment and procurement processes
  • Set-up of Project Implementation Unit
  • Establishment of Steering Committee under the order by the Minister of Foreign Affair

Soon to come:

  • Meeting of the project Steering Committee is being scheduled
  • Organisation of a Meeting of LLDCs on “Trade Facilitation Agreement of The World Trade Organisation and Its Implications on LLDCs” between June 2-3, 2014.
  • Development of 2 research papers:

- Bilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of the LLDCs: A Comparative Study of Benefits and Bottlenecks

-The World Trade Organisation Doha Round’s Trade Facilitation Negotiations: “WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Implications for LLDCs”

The World Trade Organisation Doha Round’s Trade Facilitation Negotiations: “WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Implications for LLDCs”

See more at:

Contact us

UN House,United Nations Street-14, Sukhbaatar district  Ulaanbaatar-14201, Mongolia

Tel: +976 11 351971
Fax: + 976 11 322127



Project start date:

January 2014

Estimated end date:

December 2018

Focus area:

  • thought leadership
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Mongolia

    Implementing partner:

    Ministry Of Foreign Affairs

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Government Of Luxembourg
  • Government Of Mongolia
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2018 $181,366

    2017 $197,567

    2016 $231,371

    2015 $184,191

    2014 $202,967

    UNDP Around the world

    You are at UNDP Mongolia 
    Go to UNDP Global