Focuses of UIC activities on Sustainable Transport, Cooperation with the UN and international organisations, Standardisation, Digital, Security
The Executive Board and 87th General Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC) were held on 1 December in Paris, in connection with the “Train to Paris” international campaign coordinated by UIC before the opening of the United Nations’ COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. The highlights of the “Train to Paris” campaign included the arrival in Paris of several trains bringing negotiators from different regions to COP 21 on 28 November and the organisation on the same day of a High-Level Panel at UIC Headquarters with the participation of leading international organisations.
The first important issue to be dealt with by the UIC Executive Board and General Assembly was related to the governance of the worldwide railway association. This was to recall that Mr. Vladimir Yakunin had to step down last August as President of Russian Railways (RZD) in order to take on new responsibilities in Russia, and consequently also resigned as UIC Chairman. The General Assembly according to the statutes, had to appoint a new UIC Chairman for the remainder of Vladimir Yakunin’s mandate.
Mr. Oleg Belozerov, successor of Mr. Vladimir Yakunin as President of Russian Railways (RZD), was unanimously elected by the General Assembly as the new UIC Chairman until 31 December 2016.
In addition, as Mr. Michele Elia, UIC Vice Chairman and then Acting Chairman, recently resigned as the CEO of Italian State Railways (FS Italiane), a new UIC Vice Chairman also had to be nominated. Ing. Renato Mazzoncini, new CEO of FS Italiane, was unanimously elected UIC Vice Chairman succeeding Mr. Michele Elia.
After thanking the General Assembly members for their confidence, new UIC Chairman Mr. Oleg Belozerov underlined in his opening address:“In the globalised world there is a change in approaches to forming international transport policy on a global scale. In the past, the global transport agenda was, as a rule, set by states or inter-governmental organisations. Now, there is a growing interest within the transport industry in engaging decision-makers at the multilateral level, including at the level of the United Nations.
Transport has become a focus of the United Nations and other international organisations, especially in light of the Resolution of the 69th Session of the General Assembly on the “Role of Transport and Transit Corridors in Ensuring International Cooperation for Sustainable Development” adopted in December 2014.
Railways of the 21st century have taken on a new shape, becoming a genuine form of sustainable transport, the goals of which are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of humanity set in the UN Resolution on Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015.
Rail transport should answer the challenges of our time: the globalisation of the economy; improving safety, and especially security; growing urbanisation; fighting poverty, etc.
However, despite these new challenges, rail transport continues to play a connective role in developing the economy and trade and in mobilising people”.
Mr. Oleg Belozerov stressed that strong efforts should be made regarding the progress of the implementation of international – intercontinental corridors with a focus on Euro-Asian transport corridors. UIC has already achieved a number of results, e.g. practical recommendations for corridors. A conference should be planned in 2016 to ensure progress and breakthrough of this initiative, by involving all competent organisations such as UNECE and UNESCAP.
The UIC Chairman also underlined in his opening address the important achievements in terms of Standardisation (including joint cooperation with OSJD on standards), Security (with a focus on fighting terrorism), developing a Quality Management System, etc.
Finally Mr. Belozerov mentioned the continuous development of UIC activities in the Regions, and proposed the development of more projects at global level, to improve and intensify exchanges between the Regions and to implement more cooperation projects associating several regions.
Mr. Alberto Mazzola, International Affairs Senior Vice President, FS Italiane, addressed the General Assembly with a message from Mr. Michele Elia, former CEO of FSI and UIC Vice Chairman, to all members. Mr. Elia warmly thanked all members for their involvement in UIC and their contribution, as well as UIC HQ’s contribution, to raise the credibility and reputation of UIC.
He mentioned the important achievements and progress in matters of Sustainable Transport with the “Train to Paris” global campaign, Standardisation (with publication of the first International Railway Standards IRS), Security, High Speed (with the world congress jointly organised with East Japan Railways in Tokyo). He expressed the hope that UIC would continue to work with stability in activities and membership.
Report of UIC Director General on the association’s activities
UIC Director General Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux reviewed the main significant achievements of UIC since the last General Assembly in Tokyo.
He described the global context in which railway developments and UIC’s role have to be considered, with a focus on the instability of the political and financial background in many regions, international security issues, economic imbalances and their impact on rail investments, … Nevertheless, rail is growing with a number of important projects in several regions of the world (high speed in Asia and Middle-East, master plan in China,..). In this global context, UIC guided its action in applying its core values of Unity, Solidarity, Universality.
In presenting the highlights of UIC’s actions in the recent period, Mr. Loubinoux firstly focused on the success of the “Train to Paris” international campaign connected to the UN COP 21 Climate Change Conference. Through concrete actions, UIC contributed, in closely liaising with the UN, UNFCCC, UNEP and many international organisations, to illustrate the advantages that railways can offer as a solution to the global issue of climate change. On 28 November, the “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge” now signed by 70 UIC Members, was handed over as a first achievement to the negotiators of COP 21. Strong cooperation with the UN will continue in the High-level Advisory Group to the UN Secretary General on Sustainable transport – of which Mr. Loubinoux is a member – which will meet in the next days with the presence of Mr. Ban Ki-moon in Paris.
Important developments were also mentioned in the field of Railway Standardisation with the continuation of the work aiming to publish International Railway Standards (IRS), the agreement signed with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and a Memorandum in preparation with the International Standardisation Organization (ISO).
Security issues are becoming weightier in UIC’s working plan, in accordance with this growing concern for member railways. The UIC World Security Conference will be held in the coming days in Delhi. New activities should be developed on the benchmarking of crisis management, training of staff and communication with the public...
Mr. Loubinoux reported on the launch of the Digital Platform with a successful kick-off conference held on 30 November at UIC HQ, in the presence of a number of CEOs.
This new platform will play an important role to highlight how railways best benefit from Digital developments, around the motto “Share-Connect-Open”.
In addressing the issue of technical cooperation projects coordinated by UIC, the UIC Director General underlined the positive development of contracts with the European Union and the funding or co-funding of projects by the EU or other external authorities.
Finally Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux summarised the core guidelines for the management of UIC and UIC Headquarters: Professionalism, Productivity, Promotion.
The development of a Quality Management System (QMS) is an illustration.
Relating to management issues and appointments, the General Assembly endorsed the proposal of the UIC Director-General to appoint Mr. Yves Tyrode from SNCF as the Chairman of the new UIC Digital Platform, as well as Mrs. Esther Marconi from FS Italiane as the Chairwoman of the Expertise Development Platform.
Reports from the Chairmen of the 6 UIC Regions
Reports on progress in implementation of the Regional Railway Visions – one for each UIC geographical region – and regional Action Plans were presented to the General Assembly members successively by Mr. Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Director General of ONCF, Morocco, Chairman of UIC Africa, Mr. Hitoshi Saimyo, Director, International Department on behalf of Mr. Satoshi Seino, East Japan Railway Company, Chairman of the UIC Asian and Pacific Region, Mr. Alberto Mazzola, International Affairs Senior Vice President, FS Italiane, for UIC Europe, Mr. Guilherme Quintella, Director EDLP, Brazil, Chairman of UIC Latin America, Mr. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President VIA Rail Canada, Chairman of UIC North America and Mr. Ismail Murtazaoglu, Deputy Director General of TCDD, Turkey, on behalf of UIC Middle-East.
In thanking all the heads of the UIC Regions for their presentations illustrating the dynamism and the ambitious projects of each individual region, Chairman Oleg Belozerov encouraged members to multiply inter-regional exchanges and multiregional projects, in domains such as standardisation, safety and security, international corridors.
Global Research, Standardisation, Sustainable Development, Education
Mr. Boris Lapidus, Director General of VNIIZhT, Russian Railways, Chairman of the UIC International Railway Research Board IRRB, presented the “Global Vision for Railway Development to the members of the General Assembly. For the first time, the strategic action plans for research from the different UIC Regions are integrated into a single strategic document on rail’s global research trends and objectives.
This Global Vision was adopted by the UIC General Assembly.
The progress on Railway Standardisation was presented by Mr. Marc Antoni, Director of UIC Rail System Department (together with Gianfranco Cau).
Mr. Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of UIC Fundamental Values Department together with Mr. Nick Craven, Head of Sustainable Development Unit, reported on UIC activities connected to the “Train to Paris” campaign coordinated with members, the signature and content of the “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge” and further work involving UIC on the topic of environment or climate change in a number of international bodies.
In the field of education, Mr. Jean-Paul Machet representing EMLyon Business School presented in detail the Executive MBA programme that was specifically developed by EMLyon – in cooperation with other universities and business schools – for UIC and the Rail sector, for railway managers with high potential. This Executive MBA programme represents a particularly attractive educational and training programme at the level of the most exclusive Executive MBA programmes around the world.
The information on UIC Accounts for 2015 and the 2016 Budget were presented by Mr. Thierry Béra, UIC Finance Director, and unanimously approved by the General Assembly.
Relating to UIC Membership, two new members from Africa were accepted by the General Assembly:
SCTP, Société Commerciale des Transports et des Ports, République démocratique du Congo RDC (Company for Transport and Ports, Democratic Republic of Congo),
ANCF, the Rail Authority from Senegal.
In closing the General Assembly Chairman Oleg Belozerov warmly thanked the UIC Director General, all the Headquarters’ teams and UIC Members for the good work and progress in the different projects and activities.
The next meetings of UIC Executive Board and 88th General Assembly will be held on 6 July 2016 in Rome at the kind invitation of Italian Railways FS Italiane.
Mr. Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC Russian Railways RZD
Mr. Oleg V Belozerov was born in September 1969 in Ventspils, Latvian SSR. In 1992 he graduated with a degree in industrial planning from Saint Petersburg University of Economics and Finance (now part of St Petersburg State University of Economics). In 2005 as a PhD Candidate in Economic Sciences he defended his thesis on “Organisation of supply logistics in vertically integrated structures of corporate type”.
From 1998 to 2000 Belozerov worked at JSC Lenenergo, as Deputy Commercial Director, Commercial Director, Head of Logistics and Transport, and in 2000 as Deputy Director of JSC Freight Motor Company No 21 in Saint Petersburg. In 2000-2001, he was Head of the Financial and Economic department of the Office of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian Federation President in the North-West Federal District. In 2001- 2002 he worked as Deputy Director for Management of Corporate assets Lomo, Saint Petersburg. Oleg Belozerov was then in 2002-2004 General Director of JSC Russian Oil Company and from July to November 2004 Deputy Head of the Federal Road Agency. He led this Agency in 2004-2009.
Oleg Belozerov was appointed Deputy Minister of Transport in March 2009 and in May 2015 he became First Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation. In August 2015 he was appointed President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD), succeeding Mr. Vladimir Yakunin.
Ing. Renato Mazzoncini, new CEO of FS Italiane
Ing. Renato Mazzoncini, 47 years, an Electro-technical engineer, has extensive experience in rail systems, bus operations, integrated rail and bus systems.
He was CEO of Busitalia, a branch of Ferrovie della Stato Italiane FS Group, before being appointed CEO – Amministratore Delegato – of Italian State Railways FS Italiane.