The Executive Board and the General Assembly of the UIC successively met on 9 and 10 June in Tokyo at the invitation of East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Both meetings were chaired by UIC Chairman, Mr Yoshio Ishida, Vice Chairman JR East, and UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux. The meetings were attended by a large number of railway leaders including the Vice Minister of Railways of China, the Vice Minister of Road and Transportation and President of Railways of Iran, Presidents and CEOs of Korail, DB, PKP, SNCB, SNCF, and the Vice President of Russian Railways.
In his introduction Chairman Yoshio Ishida warmly welcomed all the participants. He thanked UIC’s Director General as well as all the UIC Members for the progress in boosting and optimising UIC’s activities since the last assembly. UIC Director General presented the main achievements aiming to improve the world association efficiency, transparency and professionalism, with a strong focus on simplification of procedures and workings bodies, human resource management, improving services to Members and raising the worldwide profile of UIC through a modernised corporate image.
A growing role on a worldwide level
UIC’s Director General summarised the recent activities aiming to reinforce the role and influence of UIC as a worldwide association promoting rail transport. These activities include the development of partnerships (through MoUs) with a number of leading international organisations such as the World Bank, UN Regional Organisations, the African Union Commission, APTA (USA), OSJD, ADB and ANTT (Brazil).
Another important trend is the stronger role devoted to the Regional Assemblies to decide and implement regional actions plans and specific projects. The globalisation of UIC’s activities is also reflected in the organisation and support by UIC of a series of major events with the objective of promoting rail transport across the world. These international events planned in 2010, such as the latest one on Signalling this week in Tokyo (2nd International Conference on Traffic Management and Control Command Signalling on 7-9 June, Tokyo), will deal with Sustainable Development (16-17 June, Madrid), Security (23-25 June, Istanbul), Safety (IRSC in Hong-Kong), Global Rail Freight (6-7 July with RZD in Saint-Petersburg), Level Crossings (October, Tokyo) and the UIC HIGHSPEED Congress on High Speed organised with the Ministry of Railways of China on 7-9 December in Beijing.
Regarding how UIC members can share a common vision on UIC’s contribution to promote rail transport worldwide, the Assembly confirmed the importance to capitalise on the recent success of the campaign on sustainability and climate change (“Train to Copenhagen” campaign) and to define an ambitious strategy and action plan to efficiently communicate on rail advantages for the environment. In this respect, almost all of the UIC Members supported the proposed “UIC Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport” that should provide a common framework for coordinated actions by the Members. This “Declaration” to be signed by UIC Members will be supported by guidelines and a tool box. The General Assembly unanimously approved the financial results for 2009, the presentation of the 2010 budget and the 2011 budget perspectives.
Reports by UIC Regional Assembly Chairmen or representatives
The UIC General Assembly largely consists in informing UIC Members on the progress of activities monitored by the UIC Regional Assemblies (Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America being relaunched soon). Progress reports were presented for Africa by Mr Jean-Pierre Lehman, UIC Coordinator for Africa, for Asia by Mrs Seo, Jung Sook representing Mr Joon-Young Huh, President of Korail, Chairman UIC Asia, for Europe by Mr Jean-Michel Danscoine on behalf of Guillaume Pepy, President SNCF, Chairman UIC Europe, for Middle East by Mr Abdol Ali Sahib Mohammadi, Vice Minister, President of RAI, Iran, 1st Vice Chairman of UIC Middle East and for North America Mr Jeffrey Moller, Association of American Railroads (USA).
The main projects and activities of the UIC Technical Departments were presented successively by Ignacio Barron, Passenger Department Director, Oliver Sellnick, Freight Department Director, Emilio Maestrini, Rail System Department Director and UIC’s Director General reported on the main activities of the new Fundamental Values department covering Sustainable Development, Safety, Security, Expertise Development and Research Coordination.
UIC General Assembly approved a series of appointments: Mr Zbigniew Szafranski (PKP-PLK) as Chairman of the UIC Rail Forum System, Mr Thomas Joindeau (SNCF) as Chairman of UIC Finance Committee, Mr M. Khaddour (ONCF) as Chairman of UIC Security Platform. The Assembly also took note of the appointment of Mr Jerzy Wisniewski (PKP) as Director of the Fundamental Values Department at UIC HQ.
Finally the General Assembly took stock of the return of RFF, French infrastructure manager, as active member and admitted two new Members: NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori Spa, Italy), new passenger operator, and EDLP, freight operator and rolling stock leasing company, as affiliate Members. The next meetings of the UIC Executive Board and General Assembly will take place on 5-6 December 2010 in Beijing, China, in connection with the UIC HIGHSPEED Congress on High Speed Rail (7-9 December). Mr Wang Zhiguo, Vice Minister of Railways of China, cordially invited all General Assembly Members to visit China for this occasion. Chairman Ishida closed the Assembly by once again thanking the member railways and the UIC management and staff for the results achieved in recent months.
UIC would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman, JR East Vice Chairman, as well as all the JR East staff kindly involved in the organisation of these statutory meetings and 2nd International Conference TM & CCS on Signalling for its excellent and warm hosting and organisation of the events.