Pursuing sustainable transport to make lives better for all

“This first-ever UN conference dedicated to sustainable transport reflects the growing awareness of the crucial role that sustainable transport plays in advancing sustainable development and climate action,” UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo said today as he briefed the press on the upcoming Global Sustainable Transport Conference.

Taking place on 26-27 November in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the Conference seeks to show the importance of sustainable transport in promoting economic and social development while protecting the environment.

During the briefing, Mr. Wu described the numerous challenges caused by unsustainable transport – with around one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions being generated by the transport sector and with more than 1.25 million people killed annually in road traffic accidents.

“Sustainable transport, on the other hand, helps create the infrastructure on which we can build a sustainable future,” Mr. Wu explained. “It provides access to trade, jobs, markets, education, health care and other services that contribute to better lives. It empowers women, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.”

SustainableTransport_partnershipsMr. Wu discussed the upcoming two-day Conference, which will feature plenary sessions,  thematic discussions, a business forum and side events.

He also highlighted that “all modes of transport – road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime – will be addressed, in both developed and developing countries, in landlocked and transit countries.”

Mr. Wu furthermore reiterated the call made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, encouraging all Member States, UN entities, major groups and other stakeholders to register commitments and partnerships for sustainable transport via the Conference website.

“These registered initiatives will be an important part of the Conference outcome, and I hope that this opportunity will be taken up by many,” Mr. Wu said.

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