Last week UIC participated in the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference. Held in Beijing, this conference provided an opportunity to focus attention on the opportunities, challenges and solutions involved in achieving sustainable transport worldwide.
UIC Director General François Davenne participated in a session on sustainable transport and regional development. Participants discussed sustainable transport in the context of regional development and identified related solutions and recommendations, as well as featured success stories. They took stock of the main elements of successful (multimodal) transport systems and services supporting regional development. The discussion included views on better aligning funds and capacity-building support from UN Regional Commissions and MDBs with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and climate action. It focused on prioritising key areas and measures for sustainable transport in supporting regional development in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic and climate crises.
Mr Davenne participated in the panel together with Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General of POLIS, Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Airbus, Claude Van Rooten, President, PIARC and Wei Wang, Director, Institute for Market Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council, China.
Mr Davenne began by presenting the priorities for the rail sector. “The priority for our sector is to choose to finance transformational projects for railways at a regional and global level. Transformational projects are those that will have a big impact on efficiency in the short term,” he said.
He then focused on seamless interconnectivity, energy and technology innovation. He also talked about the need to transform cities and connect communities, and to transform the customer experience. “These are the components of our narrative for designing a better future,” he said.