75th Jubilee Session of the Inland Transport Committee
The Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held its 75th jubilee session from 26 – 28 February 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The opening of the session, on 26 February (morning), was conducted as a Ministerial Meeting, which was attended by more than forty Ministers of Transport, ambassadors and other high ranking delegations from all major countries across Europe and Asia. In his opening address, Mr. Sven Alkalaj, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe highlighted the role of sustainable transport in the United Nations Secretary General’s Action Agenda for his Second Term and as outcome of the 2012 Rio+ Conference, paving the way for transport to be included transport as a future Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). He further called upon countries to adopt and sign two political declarations, which demonstrate the readiness and commitment of countries to collaborate in and contribute to the development of efficient, safe and secure Euro-Asian Transport links, under the auspices of the United Nations.
Further to this invitation, thirty two Ministers signed a Joint Statement of future development of Euro-Asian Transport Links, whereas thirty seven signed a Joint Declaration on Unified Railway Law. Both documents express the political willingness of countries from Europa and Asia to further develop and promote rail and road transport as contributing to the economic progress of all countries in the region. In more than twenty statements, Ministers, ambassadors and high level representatives from governments and international organizations expressed their support for both initiatives, qualifying them milestones towards further facilitation of transport across the Euro-Asian landmass.
A further ceremony to celebrate the 75th jubilee session, was the unveiling of a special photo exhibition with the title “Transport in Motion” by the UNECE Executive Secretary, Mr. Sven Alkalaj. More than 300 photos from 22 countries showcase infrastructure achievements along Euro-Asian transport routes, underpinning their cultural and economic significance from a social perspective. The exhibit will remain on display at the Palais des Nations through mid-March.
The regular meeting of ITC, which started in the afternoon of 26 February, continued until 28 February 2013 and was dedicated to a great variety of issues under the competence of ITC, relevant to road, rail, inland water and intermodal transport, to vehicle regulations and to transport of dangerous goods. Among the cross-cutting issues, governments discussed their follow up plans to Rio+20 in the field of transport and the possible establishment of sustainable transport as a future sustainable development goal, road safety and the celebration of the second United Nations Global Road Safety week (6-13 May 2013), a new assessment methodology on transport and competitiveness and priorities in technical assistance and capacity building activities.
Since its inception in 1947, ITC, together with its seventeen working parties and other subsidiary bodies, has provided a pan-European intergovernmental forum, where UNECE member countries come together to forge tools for economic cooperation and negotiate and adopt international legal instruments on inland transport. In addition, due the increasing reach of various legal instruments beyond the UNECE region, with some of them even obtaining global status, the work of ITC has become of serious relevance to any transport related UN activity.
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You may also contact:
Mrs Eva Molnar
UNECE, Transport Division
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: + 41 22 917 2401
Fax: + 41 22 917 0039