The challenges facing the transport sector and the role that UNECE can play in overcoming them will be at the heart of the discussions of the 73rd annual session of UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee (ITC) that will take place on 1-3 March 2011.
The debates will gather high-level officials from the 56 UNECE member States, the European Commission, international and European transport organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The session will include a special high-level policy segment on the transport of dangerous and hazardous materials, such as explosives, acids and other chemicals, an issue of increasing global concern and interest.
The ITC will also discuss two key topics:
- Climate change and transport. This includes the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable transport systems, such as innovative engine technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, increased use of less polluting transport modes and intelligent transport systems, as well as improved and resilient transport infrastructure. One initiative in this field is the establishment of a new Group of Experts on the impacts of climate change on international transport networks, and the related adaptation requirements. The Group, consisting of experts from governments, international organizations and scientists, is expected, in the course of the next two years, to prepare appropriate policy recommendations and share best practices around transport infrastructure vulnerability and adaptation needs - a complex set of issues that have so far received little attention.
- The launch of the Decade of Action (2011-2020) for Road Safety. Every year more than 1.3 million people lose their lives on the world’s streets and roads. Though overall fatality rates in the UNECE region have been declining over the past decade, in certain sub-regions numbers are still high or even increasing. The ITC will discuss its contribution to the Decade, including the Conference to be held in Belgrade on 27-29 April 2011 that will mark its launch in the UNECE region, as well as how road safety is featured at the 2011 Commission session of UNECE. The launch of the Decade will bring this challenge to the forefront of developments, with most UNECE countries taking action towards effective road safety policies and the international community coordinating its efforts to ensure that the Decade leads to real improvements. Europe’s responsibility to share its experience and expertise with other parts of the world is high
Other transport matters that will be discussed and decided upon include activities related to inland transport security; supply chains and transport competitiveness; border-crossing facilitation; rail – road - inland navigation and combined transport; Euro-Asian transport links; Trans-European Motorways and Trans-European Railways projects’ Master Plan and assistance to countries with economies in transition.
The agenda is available at: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/itc/itc.html
Chief, Transport Facilitation and Economics Section
UNECE Transport Division
Phone: +41(0)22 917 24 01
Note to editors
The Inland Transport Committee is the highest political body of the UNECE in the field of transport. Together with its subsidiary bodies, it has provided a pan-European intergovernmental forum over the last 60 years, where UNECE member countries negotiate the international legal instruments on inland transport. These legal instruments are considered indispensable for developing efficient, safe and sustainable pan-European and Euro-Asian transport systems.
The Decade of Action (2011-2020) for Road Safety was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/255 in March 2010.