Transport Ministers from the 52 member countries of the International Transport Forum and business leaders, mayors of major cities, top researchers and representatives of non-governmental organisations gathered in Leipzig from 25-27 May for a three day summit on the future of global mobility.
The International Transport Forum is an annual event where UNECE can showcase its transport policy work and its technical regulations and bring it to the attention of transport ministers. This year, the Forum was headlined “Transport for Society” and aimed at identifying ways to increase the net benefits transport provides for individuals and for society as a whole.
Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary, was a panellist in the session “Creating Liveable and Sustainable Societies”. He also participated in the Ministerial session where he made a statement highlighting the main challenges which UNECE member countries face in developing more modern, efficient, and socially and environmentally sustainable transport systems
Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division, chaired the session “Transport, Health and the Environment” which was centred on the ways to mitigate the negative effects of uninhibited growth of transport in many areas both in developed and developing countries.
The joint UNECE and WHO/Europe project, Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) was presented at a very well attended side event “Bringing Health into Transport Planning“, which illustrated the economic benefits of walking and cycling. The Health Economic Assessment Tools (HEAT), developed by WHO Europe and supported by THE PEP, was launched at the side event. The HEAT is designed to help transport and urban planners to estimate the economic savings from death reductions due to cycling and walking. Practical examples of the cost-benefit ratio of investments in this area were presented and participants discussed how to promote cycling and walking as "win-win-win" transport policy option more effectively.
The International Transport Forum provided the opportunity for several bilateral meetings. One meeting was held with the transport minister of Russia, Mr. Levitin, who confirmed Russia’s support to UNECE’s comprehensive work on road safety and argued for further international harmonisation of road transport rules; and with the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Australian Transport Department, the Hon. Catherine King MP, with whom the UNECE delegation discussed Australia’s contribution to the work of the World Forum on Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) and the challenges related to the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Action for road safety 2011-2020.
Finally, UNECE held an exhibition stand displaying not only UNECE’s latest publications, but also those of other regional commissions and THE PEP.
For more information, please visit http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/2011/index.html or contact:
Mrs. Eva Molnar
UNECE Transport Division
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 24 01
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged.