Henning Schwarz and Alex Veitch of UIC (Sustainable Development Unit, UIC Fundamental Values Department) participated in the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UN CSD), held at the UN Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the IPM is to make the preparations and draft policy statements ahead of the full CSD meeting in May, which is looking at Transport, Chemicals, Waste and Sustainable Production and Consumption. For more information on the CSD please see the UN web site here:
The UIC held a well-attended Side Event on Monday 28 February. Henning Schwarz, Head of Unit, Sustainable Development, was joined by Michael Replogle, Policy Director and Founder, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. The event was attended by representatives from the Transport Ministries of Canada, Romania and South Africa, a representative from the US Environmental Protection Agency, three UN staff and two NGO representatives. The event produced good discussion and debate, and we made some useful contacts.
The following day Henning Schwarz was one of three invited panelists to make a presentation during the Transport discussion at the full inter-governmental meeting. Henning’s presentation was an overview of the global rail sector, emphasising its social, economic and environmental performance, and noting in particular our industry-wide initiative, the Declaration on Sustainable Mobility & Transport. The other panelists were from IATA and the Mexican Transportation Institute. This presentation was followed by statements from national delegations and groups of countries (e.g. G77 + China; EU), who made submissions and interventions on transport policy.
There were approximately 100 Government officials around the room, plus industry and NGO representatives. It was therefore a very useful opportunity to raise the profile of UIC. We were also able to distribute copies of our Declaration on Sustainable Development and Mobility, and various corporate materials to the audience.
In addition to these formal meetings, UIC had a meeting with two United Nations advisors on Sustainable Development; a meeting with one of the UN Press Officers , a meeting with the UN official in charge of communications to delegations and the USA-based production team from one of the UK national news organisations.
The next step in our work with the UN is our Sustainability Reception on 11 May, also in New York, to coincide with the final CSD talks for this session, at which Ministers from several countries will be present.