Some 20 Ministers and vice-Ministers, alongside 400 representatives of governments and key transport stakeholders from 75 countries met in Geneva this week to discuss how automation of transport systems can be leveraged to make mobility more accessible, efficient, safe and green. These meetings took place as part of the High-level policy segment on Automation in Transport of the 81st Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee (ITC). At the conclusion of this segment, Ministers, Vice Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 31 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East adopted a resolution calling for the enhancement of cooperation, harmonization and integration in the sphere of transport automation.
Delegates at the gathering, expressed their strong conviction that automation of transport systems can serve to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and unlock the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative was presented at the meetings as one of the major global processes/initiatives involved in the implementation of the SDGs. SuM4All embeds the discussion on automation into its goal-centric approach, chiefly through the lens of transport efficiency, but also by looking at the linkages with universal access, safety, and green mobility.
The ITC plenary session will continue until February 22 and will also focus on issues such as road safety, harmonization and integration in the era of transport document digitalization and automation and the need to adopt a new 2030 ITC Strategy, with automation as a key aspect of it. ITC is a unique United Nations intergovernmental body dedicated to inland transport with the overarching goal of developing safe, efficient and environmentally friendly inland transport.
The primary focus of ITC and its subsidiary bodies is the administration of 58 United Nations conventions, agreements and other legal instruments, which shape the international legal framework for inland transport on road, rail, inland waterway, intermodal transport, dangerous goods transport and vehicle construction. The activities consist of policy dialogues, regulatory work, analyses, capacity-building and technical assistance. The decisions of the ITC and its subsidiary bodies have a direct impact on the daily lives of people and businesses around the world.