New name, New Chairman and New impetus: the 15th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly was held on 23 May 2013 in Astana under the leadership of chairman Seino, chairman of JR East, and vice-chairmen Mamin, chairman of KTZ and Sereneendorj, chairman of UBTZ.
Organised for the first time by Kazakhstan Railways, over 90% of the region’s members participated, either in person or via web-conference, with some regional members located too far away to join all the meetings to know about the worldwide efforts and UIC’s activity. Many members could therefore listen and learn from such reports.
The chairman welcomed the Regional Assembly, which is becoming the place where not only railways but also various related organisations gather together such as the ADB or members of other UIC regions. The number of its members is gradually increasing with the approval of RZD Stroy, one of Russia’s major rail transport providers, as a new entrant to the region. It was considered that the number of regional members should be raised and that it was important to bring together a large number of members at the Regional Assembly, with great effort made to make the regional activities much more active.
This Regional Assembly marked an important milestone thanks to the “Strategic action plan”, developed with the general agreement of most of the members, which becomes a foundation for the implementation of regional activities until 2016 and outlines the priority actions to be conducted jointly by all the members, although this region is complicated in many ways, including aspects of economy, society, energy and railway technology.
It allows this rapidly growing Asia pacific region to develop on an even sounder basis, and also to better prepare and anticipate without having to wait for initiatives that are either recurrent or programmed early at the start of each year. Each member, UIC director and representatives of the region for members of CIS and ASEAN were thus able to present ongoing or proposed actions for the coming years in order to illustrate and implement this strategy. Finally, the procedure for selecting projects and activities officially launched for the 2014 budget will be facilitated by clearer and more involved guidelines. 2014 remains a year of ambitious activity in a financially controlled context.
However, since the situation and members’ needs can be expected to change gradually, enough flexibility to deal with the contents and activities in this strategic action plan is left to be discussed at the Regional Assembly.
Based on these issues, the UIC Asia-Pacific regional activities should be stimulated so that the railway world can fully support the sustainable development of economy and society in this rapidly growing region.
Training, especially, is very important. In order to support the development of the economy and society in the Asia-Pacific region by the railway world, it is one of UIC’s top missions to train and develop the younger members who will lead the next generation of railways.
It is also one of UIC’s top missions to provide “the place” for having such studies, meetings and workshops following various themes, where regional members and people who are related to railways can gather together.
Railways can surely develop by having an opportunity such as this to meet many experts among our members, share problems, and have a discussion.
Therefore, an opportunity such as this for all members to meet together is most precious for members, and only UIC can provide such an opportunity.
Continuous positive activities as well as strong support from UIC Headquarters are expected.
Finally, it was unanimously agreed that aligning the database relating to railway security in the Asia-Pacific region with European criteria would allow for seamless sharing and multiregional benchmarking of the various causes of four types of railway accident. This is a new step towards developing a global database.
As a conclusion, the Chairman was pleased that many important projects were proposed by the members. This makes the Asia-Pacific regional activity more positive. However, with a limited budget and in order for regional activity to be more positive without increasing the budget and the fees, it is important that the projects should be selected based on the benefit and work for the members.
The discussion will continue fully at every Regional Assembly in order to select the most appropriate activities and budget with an official approval at the next Regional Assembly on 25 November in Sydney, together with the WCRR (World Congress on Railway Research) hosted by CRC (Cooperative Research Centre for Railway Innovation).
Declaration of Mr Seino as Chairman of UIC-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region covers a huge area and each member has different needs.
In having such variety and complexity, first of all, it is necessary and a high priority matter for us as the railway world to set the “place or chance itself” so that all members can meet to support the sustainable development of the economy and society in the most rapidly growing region of the world.
Regional members seem to be eager to have a “place or chance itself” to share their problems and worries among the regional members.
I consider it as an important role that UIC should accomplish.
My policy as Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Region is quite simple.
It is, to raise the number of members by persuading inactive members and potential members to be active.
As I mentioned so many times today, I can never stress more strongly that everything starts with the increase in the number of members.
In order to accomplish that, first, the beginning is that so many members participate in the Regional Assembly, give opinions and discuss them with each other.
This region can surely be more positive by finding out the common interests among members through positive discussions and producing results through regional activities.
In order to make the members realise the merits of joining UIC, I also feel the need not only to share the results and the meaning of our activities among the members but also to show them to the whole society.
On this point, I would like to ask UIC Headquarters to give wisdom and a great support. I myself will do my best to invite the regional railway members.
I also would like to ask your support to call on the neighbouring countries to join the Regional Assembly first.
Let’s make the Regional Assembly a fruitful place where so many executives from each railway gather together and discuss various matters twice a year.
I’m really looking forward to seeing you again in November in Sydney.
Thank you very much".