Monday 31 May 2010
International Agreement

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and UIC sign a MoU (Prague, 26 May)

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), represented by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Ján Kubiš, UN Deputy Secretary General, and the UIC, represented by its Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on 24 May in Prague, on the sidelines of the 18th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum.

The aim of this MoU is to further strengthen the co-operation between UNECE and UIC in the pursuit of their common objective: the integration and development of the European transport of goods and passengers by railways.
UNECE and UIC endeavour the development of sustainable transport and thus promote environment and health friendly transport systems to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Efficient and safe rail transport plays a particularly important role for sustainable passenger mobility and freight transport in a pan-European context.

This MoU will include the exchange of information and expertise, cross-participation at events sponsored and organized by UNECE and UIC on international legislation, technical interoperability (harmonization, standardization), trans-boundary management, management of priority corridors, accessibility, international security, and rail safety.

In addition, possible cooperation issues will be identified in the following areas:

  • the modernisation of infrastructure for conventional railway and intermodal transport,
  • the improvement of railway operation, organisation and management,
  • the development and utilisation of databases and facilities,
  • the improvement and harmonisation of railway techniques and technology.

UNECE and UIC will also strengthen their cooperation for the development of relations with the private sector and international financial institutions in order to achieve effective implementation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept in the European railways and intermodal transport systems, and for the development of relations with other international organizations with a view to developing a competitive Euro-Asian Railway network.

Ján Kubiš, said: “this new MoU confirms the quality of our cooperation with the International Union of Railways. We look forward to working even more closely on the development of sustainable transport in the pan-European region.” Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, added “UIC is delighted to further strengthen the cooperation with UNECE and to share railway expertise, professional knowledge and experience available at UIC thanks to its members’ contributions. The current international trade flows and the ever growing environmental challenges create new perspectives and needs for efficient, safe and economically viable transport, boosting sustainable performances particularly on long-distance routes. One of UIC’s key projects is the development of the Europe-Asia corridor which perfectly aligns with UNECE’s mandate to develop trans-boundary rail transport within Europe and Europe-Asia territory.”

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From left to right: Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, Mr Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary and UN Deputy Secretary General, and Ms Eva Molvar, UNECE Director of Transport Division (credit: OSCE/Lubomir Kotek)