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At ITF24 UNECE advocates for climate action and increased funding for road safety

At ITF24 UNECE advocates for climate action and increased funding for road safety

UNECE Executive Secretary at the opening plenary of the International Transport Forum Summit 2024

Addressing ministers at the 2024 International Transport Forum Summit (ITF24) in Leipzig, UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean recalled that 152 United Nations Member States are contracting parties to at least one of the 61 transport conventions hosted by UNECE. These legal instruments help to ensure that transport infrastructure and services are sustainable, resilient, safe and can deliver on climate action. 

In bilateral meetings with ministers of transport and infrastructure of Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Türkiye, the Executive Secretary invited them to support the implementation of UNECE’s global strategy to reduce GHG emissions from inland transport and to contribute to UNECE regulatory work to enhance the digitalization and energy efficiency of the sector.  

With rail accounting for only 1% of the annual GHG emissions from inland transport, the Executive Secretary met with the Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC), François Davenne, to push for modal shifts towards rail.   

During her numerous bilateral meetings at ITF24, Ms. Molcean also encouraged all UN Member States to contribute to the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) and thus advance the global road safety agenda.  

Together with UNRSF and UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt, UNECE is working to leverage public funds, through multilateral financial institutions, and to attract private investment in sustainable transport infrastructure, with focus on road safety and climate change mitigation. One way to mobilize finance for road safety is through public-private partnerships (PPPs). UNECE’s PPP and Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System (PIERS) ensures that projects are in line with SDG criteria and that they create value for the most vulnerable.  

In her keynote address at the launch of UNRSF’s 2023 Annual Report and its “Road to Morocco” initiative, Ms. Molcean stressed that road safety has been underfunded for too long, both at global and country level. The upcoming 4th Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Morocco in February 2025 presents a crucial opportunity to bridge the funding gap and mobilize private sector involvement, she said. 

Speaking at the special ministerial roundtable on fostering transport recovery in Ukraine, and meeting the Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, Serhiy Derkach, Ms. Molcean reaffirmed UNECE’s commitment to support Ukraine to renovate its transport infrastructure and to ensure seamless movement of goods across borders using the TIR Convention and UN/CEFACT trade facilitation standards. Ukraine is already contracting party to 23 of 61 UN transport conventions administered by UNECE.  


Photo credits: International Transport Forum