Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of the International Union of Railways UIC – the worldwide association grouping together 240 Members on the 5 continents, and Mr Tadeusz Szozda, Chairman of the OSJD Committee – the organisation for cooperation of Railways based in Warsaw, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for 2016-2020 on 23 February 2016 in Geneva.
Mr Loubinoux is pleased to see UIC’s cooperation policy continue and develop with other institutions and associations across the world. He said, “This new Memorandum of Cooperation with OSJD confirms a collaboration of over 50 years, whilst adapting it to the context of the 21st century and focusing on the fundamental aspects for the railways which are, for the large international corridors, standardisation, innovation and interoperability.”
Mr Francois Davenne, Secretary General of OTIF – the International organisation for International transport by rail – attended the ceremony and contributed to the importance of the event.
The main principles for cooperation between the OSJD and UIC were stipulated in the Agreement on Cooperation between the two organisations, signed in 1995. In 2015 OSJD and UIC developed a renewed program for cooperation in order to meet the current and future needs of rail transport (International Railway Standards IRS and joint standardisation activities, needs to develop Eurasian corridors from transport into economic corridors in particular via interoperability) and specify various joint actions and events in 2016-2020.
The new Memorandum of Cooperation and Working Program between UIC and OSJD reflects the status of joint achievements, the requirements of a modern market of transport services and specifies the main fields of cooperation of the working bodies of the two organisations.
The new Memorandum of Cooperation defines the main objectives of cooperation between both organisations as follows:
- Assistance in the creation of a single compatible rail transport system in the Eurasian region, taking into account interests of railways;
- Drawing up of the list and volume of services in the field of rail transport in order to increase its compatibility;
- Harmonisation of operational and technical regulations and other documents in the field of rail sector in order to improve interaction and effectiveness of rail transport operation;
- Submission of the results of joint developments and proposals for consideration by the governing bodies of the two organisations.
Based on the 20-year experience of cooperation in the framework of the MoU signed in 1995, the following forms of cooperation are going to be applied:
- Information and document exchange, including work programmes and work plans;
- Cross-participation in meetings, organisation of joint events;
- Development of joint provisions (IRS, databases, studies etc.).