27 November 2016 – Achieving sustainable transport crucial for development of countries in special situations

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 27 November 2016 – The first-ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference that concluded in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on 27 November anchored sustainable transport firmly into the United Nations global sustainable development agenda and has showed that it is a shared global task.

“There is a consensus emerging from the discussion. Simply put, without sustainable transport, there will be no lasting progress on climate action; without sustainable transport, there will be no lasting progress on the Sustainable Development Goals,’’ – the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Wu Hongbo said at the final press conference on the results of the two-day gathering.

The Global Sustainable Transport Conference is the second major UN Conference this year focusing on the issues of sustainable development following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the first since the historic entry into force of the Paris climate agreement in early November 2016.

“We have demonstrated the power of policy and partnerships to advance sustainable transport for all. Sustainable transport solutions are key to leaving no one behind, securing economic prosperity, enabling access to services and protecting the environment. Special consideration is needed for developing countries and, in particular countries in special situations,’’ Under-Secretary-General Wu said. Sustainable transport is crucial to the development of countries in special situations – least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states – which face difficulties linked to transit, inadequate transport infrastructure, missing links, huge infrastructure gaps, limited capacities, traffic-related air pollution and road fatalities. On the other hand, these countries have an enormous potential for sustainable development. Regional cooperation, international support, and focused investments can connect their populations and economies both domestically and globally the way that the whole world would benefit while leaving no one behind.

Mr. Wu stressed the need for integration across road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime modes, and said these different sectors need to start working together. Concrete actions to move the world towards the new and essential paradigm of sustainable transport were identified collectively as well as individually. A final compilation of initiatives, voluntary commitments and partnerships will be posted on the Conference website, as will the Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference

The two-day Conference was attended by three Heads of State, one Head of Government, 6 Deputy Prime Ministers, 2 Foreign Ministers, 42 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of transport and infrastructure. Some 200 business and civil society representatives, along with representatives of over 20 intergovernmental organisations and the UN entities participated in the event.

For its part, Turkmenistan deposited instruments of accession to the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Control of Goods, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian

Highway Network, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network, and the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports. These conventions and agreement are intended to facilitate transport, which will contribute to the improved well-being of millions of people.

Conference website: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/Global-Sustainable-Transport-

Media contacts:

Deborah Seward, Conference Spokesperson: sewardd@un.org 

Vlastimil Samek: vlastimil.samek@unic.org

Bobir Komilov: bobir.komilov@undp.org