The Euro-Asian Transport Links Expert Group was held in Tashkent on 1st November aiming to improve the co-ordination of transport development across the Eurasian region. The meeting was opened by Mr Shavkat Tulyaganov, Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade in Uzbekistan.
More than 50 participants from 10 countries and representatives of international organizations took part in this Euro-Asian Transport Links Expert Group meeting organized by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to advance dialogue on transport facilitation and security in the region. The OSCE and the UNECE have long co-operated in this field and plan to publish a joint Handbook of best practices at border crossings. The two organizations also will co-organize an Inter-Regional Workshop on Developing Euro-Asian Transport Links on 7-8 December in Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, who participated in this meeting, presented UIC as the association of all the Railway Undertakings around the world, essentially acting as a technical platform and promoting the development of rail transport through three kinds of activities:
- Managing study projects in the fields of freight, passenger, systems integration, interoperability, etc;
- Developing global issues in terms of security, safety, sustainability, standardisation and freight corridors;
- Working with financial or official institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, as well as the United Nations – where UIC has had observer status since 1945 – and more particularly UNECE and OSCE.
As part of studies already carried out on facilitating links between Europe and Asia through the North-South Corridors and the Silk Road, UIC also works on matters such as capacity development, gauge interchange issues, logistical hubs and port hinterland traffic. Mr Loubinoux added: “I will follow with great interest answers to growing needs of the international mobility of goods and people. The 21st century will see the improvement of rail transport as a spur to regional economic and social progress and a boost to inter-regional gains”.