• English


Informal Multidisciplinary Advisory Group Meeting on Transport Responses
to the COVID-19 Crisis

Virtual WebEx meeting from 13h00 - 16h00
Geneva, 9 June 2020

Held as a preparatory meeting to the 33rd Session of the UNECE Working Party on Transport
Trends and Economics (WP.5)


At the 82nd session of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee (Geneva, February 2020), the Committee: “Requested the secretariat, in close cooperation with the Bureau, with the support of interested governments and key stakeholders to conduct necessary research on provisions in existing frameworks and new needed areas of work to promote cooperation between transport authorities in the field of counteracting the effects of emergency situations of cross-country nature, including epidemics and pandemics, and present this information to Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5) in September 2020 for consideration of further steps and for inclusion to its programme of work.” In response to this mandate, the secretariat calls for an Informal Multidisciplinary Advisory Group Meeting on Transport Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis to be held virtually on 9 June 2020 from 13h00 – 16h00. 


This virtual meeting will gather representatives of ministries of transport, health and customs officials from across the ECE region to take stock of the challenges experienced by the inland transport sector in view of the current pandemic, discuss possible issues in re-opening of cross-border traffic and exchange views on possible recommendations to increase transport authorities` preparedness for and resilience to future outbreaks. The deliberations of this meeting will feed into the preparations of the working document requested by ITC for discussion at the WP.5 session from 7-9 September 2020. 


13h00-13h05 – Welcoming remarks

Mr. Piet De Wildt, Chair, Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5) PDF
Mr. Yuwei Li, Director, UNECE Sustainable Transport Division

13h05-13h15 – Introduction by the secretariat

Mr. Roel Janssens, Secretary, Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5), UNECE Sustainable Transport Division PDF

13h15-14h30 – Lessons learned from the crisis and challenges in re-opening of cross-border traffic – national and regional organisations statements

Selected topics:

• Measures taken and policies implemented during the COVID-19 crisis across different modes of transport
• Challenges in re-opening cross-border traffic in the wake of the pandemic

Interventions (5-7 minutes):

• Mr. Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General, DG Mobility and Transport, European Commission (EC) PDF, speaking points PDF
• Mr. Ferenc Szabo, Senior Counsellor, Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary
• Mr. Jerzy Kleniewski, General Counsellor, Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland
• Mr. Robert Razvan Dobre, Director, Strategic Projects, Ministry of Transport of Romania
• Mr. David Sutton, Chief Officer, Integrated Transport Strategy Directorate, Malta
• Mrs. Elinor Paterson, External Engagement Lead, HM Revenue and Customs, UK
• Mr. Sergey Andreev, Deputy Director, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation PDF
• Mr. Osman Nuri Beyhan, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Trade of Turkey PDF
• Mrs. Ketevan Salukvadze, Head of Transport and Logistics Development Policy Department, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia PDF and Mrs. Irina Sigua, Revenue Service of Georgia PDF

• Mr. Sagyndyk Netaliyev, Deputy Director, Department of Transit and Transport Logistics development, Ministry of industry and infrastructural development of the Republic of Kazakhstan PDF


14h30-15h30 – Lessons learned from the crisis and challenges in re-opening of cross-border traffic – initiatives by international organizations

Selected topics:

• Initiatives taken and recommendations made by international organizations during and after the COVID-19 crisis across different modes of transport

Interventions (5-7 minutes):

World Health Organization perspective

• Dr. Ninglan Wang, acting Head, Border Risk Dissemination Management, Country Readiness Strengthening, World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters PDF

Road transport sector

• Mr. Matthias Maedge, Director – Advocacy, International Road Transport Union (IRU) PDF

Rail transport sector

Mrs. Snejana Markovic-Chénais, Head, Data, Statistics & Economics, International Union of Railways (UIC) PDF
• Mrs. Sandra Dobler, Senior Legal Adviser, International Rail Transport Committee (CIT) PDF

Customs/ transit and border management sector

• Mrs. Vyara Filipova, Technical Attaché, World Customs Organization (WCO) PDF
• Mrs. Gladys Mutangadura, Senior Programme Officer, UN-OHRLLS PDF
• Mr. Michael Rathje, Head of Customs and Status Sector, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission (EC) PDF


15h30-16h20 – Exchange of views on possible recommendations to increase resilience to future outbreaks – by Governments, private sector operators and international organizations

Selected topics:

• Identification of potential transport policy responses aimed at strengthening resilience to future outbreaks
• Opportunities offered by transport digitalization and automation tools
• Need for enhanced international transport regulatory frameworks

Interventions (5-7 minutes):

• Mr. Dmitry Doroshevich, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the UN in Geneva
• Mr. Arjen `t Hoen, Deputy Director, Centre of Expertise on Mobility, Netherlands PDF
• Mr. Alberto Grisone, Director, Network Development, HUPAC Intermodal Transport
• Mr. Nebojša Jevtić, Senior Adviser, Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Association for Transport, Serbia PDF
• Mr. Richard Morton, Secretary General, International Port Community Association (IPCSA) PDF
Circular letter PDF


16h20-16h25 – Wrap-up, agreement on next steps

16h25-16h30 – Closing remarks

Additional resource materials:

Observatory on Border Crossing Status due to COVID-19
Data Sources on COVID-19 impact on transport
Transport Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) Task Force on Green and Healthy Sustainable Transport Principles
Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (WP.24) COVID-19 Friends of the Chair meeting (26 June 2020)
European Commission’s online platform on the exceptional national (EU Member States) transport measures being taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
• ILO – road transport brief PDF
• ILO – civil aviation transport brief PDF


Registration for the 2nd WP.5 Informal Multidisciplinary Advisory Group Meeting on Transport Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis (Geneva, 8 September 2020) is open (click here to register).

The second edition is taking place in the framework of the 33rd Session of the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics.  Participation will be possible both in person or virtually (through WebEx). 
WP.5 discussion in September is expected to endorse next steps aimed at enhancing the inland transport sector`s resilience to and preparedness for future pandemics and/or international emergency situations.
A "WebEx how-to-use guide" is available here.
Should you experience problems with the registration process please contact Mrs. Maria Mostovets at maria.mostovets@un.org.
For further information, please contact: roel.janssens@un.org