Asia-Pacific nations reaffirm commitment to efficient, reliable and safe transport infrastructure and services

Asia-Pacific nations meeting at a United Nations forum here today reaffirmed their commitment to building an efficient, reliable and safe transport system to support economic growth, improve the living standards of their people and increase trade competitiveness of the region.

Transport ministers and senior government officials from over 30 countries attending the second session of the Ministerial Conference on Transport organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), concluded two days of discussions with the adoption of a five-year road map setting out goals and guidelines for linking countries in the region with an integrated intermodal transport and logistics system.

The Regional Action Programme for Transport Development in Asia and the Pacific, phase II (2012-2016) is part of the ‘Ministerial Declaration on Transport Development in Asia and the Pacific’ issued by the conference which emphasizes the “crucial importance of efficient, reliable and safe transport infrastructure and services to regional integration and sustainable and inclusive economic and social development.”

Closing the conference, ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary Mr. Shun-ichi Murata said the Ministerial Declaration represented “a milestone (in preserving) our recent economic and social achievements, reducing our vulnerabilities and making our region more resilient to future shocks.”

The Regional Action Programme emphasizes the need for timely governmental policy direction to maintain and accelerate progress towards an international, integrated intermodal transport and logistics system. It sets out ambitious objectives and deliverables in each substantive area of transport including infrastructure, facilitation, logistics, financing and private sector participation, energy use, road safety, inter-island shipping, subregional networks and the role of transport in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The second phase of the Regional Action Programme will build on the substantial progress achieved under its first phase that was adopted by Asia-Pacific transport ministers in Busan, Republic of Korea in 2006.

The second session of the transport ministerial conference also adopted the Regional Strategic Framework for the Facilitation of International Road Transport, providing general direction for member countries and their development partners in formulating facilitation policy, agreements, programmes and projects.