The Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will celebrate its 75th jubilee session, from 26 –28 February 2013 in Geneva.
On Monday, 25 February, UNECE will host an international Conference on Road and Rail Financing. This pre-ITC conference will pay special attention to different forms of public, as well as public-private funding of road and rail transport infrastructure development. Participants will explore innovative ways of financing transport development, including closer links between funding and pricing and the possibilities opened up by Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), and by electronic toll collection.
On Tuesday, 26 February (morning), ITC will start with a Ministerial Meeting, dedicated to Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL) and Unified Railway Law. Ministers from across Europe and Asia and other high level officials will learn about the EATL study results that assessed and prioritised transport investment projects along nine rail and nine road routes between Europe and Asia so that time and money are saved for freight transport between the two continents. The study also compared maritime and land transport between Europe and Asia. Its findings show that contrary to the conventional wisdom, rail and road transport can be a realistic alternative to maritime transport both in time and costs provided all the facilitation measures are in place. Furthermore, Ministers will review the progress of work towards unified railway law. Unlike other modes of transport, international railway transactions are not – yet – subject to internationally harmonised rules of contract. Current efforts are essential to establish level playing field for all modes of transport.
At the end of the high-level session, Ministers will be invited to sign a Joint Statement on future development of Euro-Asian Transport Links as well as a Joint Declaration on Unified Railway Law. Following the Ministerial Meeting, UNECE Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj will unveil the photo exhibition “Transport in Motion”. It comprises more than 300 photos from 22 countries showcasing infrastructure achievements along Euro-Asian transport routes, underpinning their cultural and economic significance from a social perspective.
The regular meeting of ITC will start in the afternoon of 26 February and will continue until 28 February. The primarily role of ITC is to guide the work of the seventeen working parties and other subsidiary bodies. ITC delegates will review, discuss and decide about issues relevant to road, rail, inland water and intermodal transport, to vehicle regulations and to transport of dangerous goods. Road safety will continue to feature as one of the key crisis elements in future mobility. Among the cross-cutting issues, governments will discuss their follow up plans to Rio+20 in the field of transport, a new assessment methodology on transport and competitiveness, as well as their priorities in technical assistance and capacity building activities.
On February 25 the Expert Group will meet to discuss the modifications of the AETR agreement. At the initiative of Turkey, governments will meet on 1 March to discuss ways and means for improving transit possibilities in international road freight transport.
For further information visit: http://www.unece.org/trans/events/2013/itc75_2013/planning.html
Mrs Eva Molnar
UNECE, Transport Division
Tel: + 41 22 917 2401
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
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