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The growth of international trade, the continued surge of containerized freight through the ports of the Asia-Pacific region and the recognition of the importance of greater regional integration are encouraging countries to seek efficient connectivity through transport networks.

For the railways of the region, this new international environment offers an opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure or construct new one with the aim of defining and operating international corridors. It also calls for a higher level of cooperation to find synergies between national infrastructure projects and international corridors.

With this in mind, countries opt to define a framework within which they can discuss and plan the future expansion, upgrading and operation of the Trans-Asian Railway network. At the 60th session of the UNESCAP Commission, they agree that an Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network will provide such a framework and request the secretariat to take action.

Noting the smooth progress of the negotiations at the regional and subregional levels, the 61st session of the UNESCAP Commission endorses the implementation schedule to have the Agreement finalized at an Intergovernmental Meeting in November 2005, adopted by the 62nd session of the Commission and presented for signature at the Ministerial Conference on Transport to be held in 2006.

The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network opened for signature on 10 November 2006 in Busan, Republic of Korea. The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network entered into force on 11 June 2009.

The certified true copies of the Agreement in Chinese, English and Russian languages are available at the United Nations Treaty Collection website.

Consolidated text of the Agreement as of 11 February 2022. (link to Chinese, English and Russian versions is on the left of this webpage)

Note: This informal document in three official languages of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway network is prepared by the ESCAP secretariat for information and ease of reference by member States and does not constitute a certified true copy of the Agreement. It incorporates amendments to the Agreement that have been adopted by its Parties at the meetings of the Working Group on the Trans-Asian Railway network and entered into force up to 11 February 2022. Only the Secretary-General, or the Office of Legal Affairs on his behalf, can issue certified true copies of an Agreement deposited with him.

Status of signatories/parties

Latest status of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network

Becoming a Party to the Intergovernmental Agreement on Trans-Asian Railway Network

  • signatory States may become Parties through ratification, acceptance or approval
  • non-signatory States may become Parties through accession

Model Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, and reservation and declaration may be downloaded from the United Nations Treaty Collection website.