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About the Meeting

Meeting of Ministers of Transport of the Euro-Asian region

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe will host a Ministerial Meeting for Ministers of Transport of countries in the Euro-Asian region starting at 10.00 A.M. on 19 February 2008, in Palais des Nations, Geneva.

The meeting takes place on the first day of the 70th annual session of the UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee (ITC).

The Issue

Trade and transport between Asia and Europe continues to rise sharply every year. So far, Euro-Asian traffic has mainly used maritime routes as they were deemed more reliable and competitive than land routes.

However, in light of newly liberalized economies, growing trade and increasing congestion in major Asian and European ports, governments and international organizations in the Euro-Asian region now consider that inland transport links can offer additional transport options to existing and future trade flows between Europe and Asia, as well as facilitate participation of national economies in the global economy. Better links from ports to inland destinations are also needed to sustain further projected growth in merchandise trade.

Road, rail and inland waterways can provide time and cost effective transport between the two continents. It will not only relieve port congestion, but also contribute to the economic development of countries along the Euro-Asian transport links, including landlocked developing countries.

Issues to be tackled

  • Key Euro-Asian inland transport routes and priority projects

  • Implementation plans for priority projects and the progress made so far

  • Border crossing and transit issues

Expected Results

Ministers are expected to confirm their support for the UNECE-UNESCAP EATL project and its continuation by endorsing the identified Euro-Asian routes and their priority development as well as the creation of a mechanism ensuring efficient coordination and monitoring of project related activities.

A joint document on the future development of Euro-Asian transport links will be approved by participating Ministers.


  • Transport Ministers from countries in the Euro-Asian region

  • Ministers and /or high-level officials from other interested UNECE-UNESCAP countries

  • High-Level officials from the United Nations and the European Commission

  • International Organizations