On 12 April 2019, leaders in transport from across the world convened at the World Bank Group/IMF Spring meetings for a high-level panel discussion on what it will take to realise sustainable mobility. Sustainable mobility is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with the 2030 deadline for the SDGs fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to develop transport systems that are equitable, efficient, safe and green.
High-level government officials on the panel included Ghanaian Transport Minister H.E. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah; Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN in New York, H.E. Kairat Umarov and Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the UN in New York, H.E. Mahamadamin Mahmadaminov. They were also joined by Ms. Allen Catherine Kagina, Executive Director of the Uganda National Roads Authority; Ms. Rachel Healy, Director of the Office of Sustainability at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Mr. Pau Noy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB).
Senior Director of the World Bank’s Transport Global Practice opened the panel discussion reminding the audience of high-level government officials and staff from the World Bank group, that the insights generated at this event, will be used to strengthen and refine the efforts by the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative to lay out a Global Roadmap of Action to get the world back on track to achieve sustainable mobility. He praised SuM4All’s revolutionary work to transform the transport sector thus far. World Bank Vice-President for Infrastructure Makhtar Diop echoed these sentiments in his Opening Remarks and spoke on the importance of sustainable transport financing, leveraging inland waterways and the need to develop transport systems that provide access “for all,” including women and the elderly, to achieve sustainable mobility.
The panelists themselves came from highly diverse backgrounds and provided a rich tapestry of insights pertaining to mobility. The Transport Minister of Ghana highlighted the role of international assistance, that countries such as his, operating on limited resources, would require to embrace mobility systems that are sustainable. Meanwhile, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, H.E. Kairat Umarov spoke on his country’s historic role as the leading advocate of the landlocked developing country agenda internationally. His diplomatic counterpart Permanent Representative Mahamadamin Mahmadaminov, elaborated on what Tajikistan has been doing to surmount the challenges thrust upon it by its landlocked character.
With the global number of road traffic deaths continuing to rise, reaching 1.35 million in 2016, road safety was another important issue discussed. Ms. Allen Katherine Kagina, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Roads Authority explained how her country was using technology to reduce road traffic crashes. Meanwhile Rachel Healy, heading the Office of Sustainability at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Mr. Pau Noy, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona spoke about the challenges faced by public transport systems in making metro and bus services safer, more reliable, more efficient, and less polluting, focused on meeting people’s needs.
This panel discussion was organised by the Sustainable Mobility for All initiative, the World Bank Group SDG Fund and the Mobility Champions Community which is co-chaired by the President of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Pere Calvet, and Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg, with the special collaboration of UITP.
UIC, as member of SUM4all, was very pleased to contribute to the Global Roadmap for action mentioned during this event, and is looking forward to continuing this cooperation with SUM4all.
(Source: World Bank)