The Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held its 75th jubilee session from 26 – 28 February 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
On 25 February, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux participated in one of the thematic conferences held as part of the event, which focused on the development of the technical progress required in order to build large corridors.
The opening of the session, the next day, was conducted as a Ministerial Meeting, attended by over 40 ministers from all major countries across Europe and Asia, and was followed by the signing of the Joint Statement of future development of Euro-Asian Transport Links and the Joint Declaration on Unified Railway Law. The meeting’s panel included Mr Sven Alkalaj, Under-Secretary-General, Executive Secretary of UNECE; Mr Sergey Aristov, Secretary of State, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation – Russian Contribution to the Development of Euro-Asian Transport Links; Mr Alexey Stukalo, Deputy Co-ordinator/Head, Economic Activities, Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA), OSCE Secretariat; Mr Vladimir Yakunin, President of JSC “Russian Railways”, UIC Chairman, who delivered a presentation on the “Development of Euro-Asian transport links in the context of creating Unified Railway Law”; Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General who presented “Travelling on a cargo train” and Mr Umberto de Pretto, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Road Transport Union who focused on “Euro-Asia Road Transport Connections: from the cockpit of the driver to strategic challenges!”
On this occasion, Mr Yakunin participated in his capacity as President of RZD as well as Chairman of UIC, and stressed that in order to achieve this vision of large corridors it was important to bring together the existing legislation within the respective frameworks of OSJD and COTIF. He also highlighted that UIC, as the international organisation of railways, was giving its full support to this trend of interoperability at world level.
Mr Loubinoux recalled the development in the 21st century of modal complementarity, which aims to optimise global supply chain management as part of an interoperable system that guides UIC’s work.
Whilst on the subject of large east-west corridors, he also presented the economic and technical rail challenges faced by UIC and its members which are most closely involved. This vision should be put into effect as soon as possible and provide an answer to mobility needs predicted by the OECD and the United Nations.