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The 2011 International Transport Forum annual summit

The 2011 annual summit of the International Transport Forum took place in Leipzig, Germany, from 25 to 27 May 2011, to debate the theme "Transport for Society".

The UNECE presence was marked with substantial inputs : Mr. Kubiš was a panelist in the session "Creating Liveable and Sustainable Societies" together with Mr. B.K. Chaturvedi, Member of the Indian Planning Commission, Peter Voser, CEO of the Royal Dutch Shell, Mr. Matthias Wissmann, President of the federation of the German Automotive Industry and Mr. Henry Li, Senior Director, BYD Company from China.

Ms. Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division chaired the session "Keeping it Clean - Transport, Health and the Environment" which included Mr. L. Burns, Professor, University of Michigan, USA, Mr. Y. Hozaki, Executive Officer, West Nippon Expressway Company, Japan, Mr. K.Y. Hwang, President, Korean Transport Institute, Mr. P. Haixiao, Professor, Tongji University, China, Ms. H. Søholt, Managing Director, Gehl Architects, Denmark and Mr. J-F. Toussaint, Director of the Institute for Biomedical research and Sports Epidemiology, France. Discussion in this session was centred on mitigation of negative effects of uninhibited growth of transport in many transport areas both in developed and developing countries.

The UNECE delegation, lead by Mr. Jan Kubiš, executive Secretary of the UNECE, participated in the Ministerial session where he made a statement highlighting the main challenges that UNECE member countries face in developing modern, efficient, socially and environmentally sustainable transport systems.

The joint UNECE and WHO/Europe project, THE PEP was presented at a very well attended side event "Bringing Health into Transport Planning". Ms. Molnar was speaker, Messrs Magold and Pesut were active discussants in this event which illustrated the economic benefits of walking and cycling. The UNECE-WHO/Europe Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) has supported the development of the Health Economic Assessment Tools (HEAT) by WHO Europe. It is designed to help transport and urban planners to estimate the economic savings from death reductions due to cycling and walking. The side event launched the HEAT for cycling and walking, highlighted practical examples of the cost-benefit ratio of investments and discussed how to promote cycling and walking as a "win-win" transport policy option.

See also our publication "Transport for Sustainable Development in the ECE region" and the UNECE press release related to the event.