The 7th UIC Asian Regional Assembly (ARA) meeting was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, following a meeting of the Management Committee, on 15th May 2009 at the kind invitation of the President of Russian Railways (RZD), Mr Vladimir Yakunin.
The meeting was chaired by Mr Joon Young Huh, President of KORAIL and Chairman of the ARA, who announced a new member of the Asia Region, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC).
Mr Kanat Alpysbayev, Vice President of Finance of Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ), was present on behalf of Mr Askar Mamin, President of KTZ and 1st Vice Chairman of the Asian Regional Assembly. He relayed a welcome message from Mr. Mamin stressing that KTZ considered that the meeting represented an important milestone which would influence the future work of all members.
Mr. Huh welcomed participating members from the Australian Railways, East Japan Railways, Indian Railways, Kazakhstan Railways, Korean Railways, Russian Railways as well as representatives from the Volga Branch of Russian Engineering Academy and the All-Russian Railway Research Institute.
Mr Yoshio Ishida, President of the UIC, and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the UIC, were also in attendance and were invited by the ARA Chairman to address their personal message to the members of the Asian Regional Assembly.
Mr Ishida expressed the desire that his presidency would help to consolidate the core technical values of UIC and return increased value to members in the respective parts of the world.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux expressed his wish to promote railways everywhere in the world with the UIC as a Platform of technical expertise and cooperation. He considered the ARA, with its 23 members (some of them the biggest in the world), representing 30% of the world economic growth and 60% of the world population a very important one within the UIC.
The main purpose of the meeting was to approve the following items:
Nomination of the ARA Chairman and Vice-Chairmen for the period 2009/2010
Nomination of the ARA Representative to the UIC Executive Board for the period 2009/2010
Review of the new Internal Regulations for the ARA
Review of the ARA Strategic Paper
Position of the UIC non-European Regional Director
The following decisions were made:
Mr Joon-Young Huh, KORAIL, was re-elected unanimously as UIC ARA Chairman until the end of 2010.
Mr Askar Mamin, KTZ, was re-elected unanimously as 1st UIC ARA Vice-Chairman. The position of 2nd Vice-Chairman remains vacant for the present.
The ARA Representatives to the UIC Executive Board have been nominated as follows:
For Asia: CR, EJR, IR, KORAIL
For Central Asia/Caucasia: KTZ
The participation of the following ARA members at the Executive Board was acknowledged:
As representative of Oceania: QR
As multiregional member: RZD
A discussion took place on a draft version of Internal Regulations for the ARA prepared by Mr Gerard Dalton, UIC Asia Coordinator. Contributions were taken at the meeting and a revised version will be circulated, in consultation with members, with a view to adoption at the next Assembly meeting.
The Asian Regional Assembly also discussed the current status of the candidature for the UIC non-European Regional Director. This will be further elaborated before the next meeting of the UIC Executive Board on 16th June 2009.
A Strategic Paper was presented by Mr Mukul Saran Mathur, UIC bureau in Delhi. An active debate took place with contributions from all members present. A revised version of the Strategic Plan will be prepared for adoption at the next Asian Regional Assembly.
A preliminary outline of the budget for 2010 for the Asia Region was given by the Mr Gerard Dalton. Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux invited members to send in ambitious project proposals for the Asia Region. The project sheets and associated budget will be prepared for the next meeting when the actual budget for 2010 will be agreed by the members.
The next Asian Regional Assembly will be held in November 2009 in Daejeon, Republic of Korea at the kind invitation of KORAIL, to coincide with the first High Speed Interaction Workshop which shall take place around the same time.