The second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference will take place from 14 to 16 October 2021 in Beijing, China. It underscores the importance of sustainable transport for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It will build on the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held on 26 and 27 November 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, which resulted in the “Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations”.
Transport enables the mobility of people and goods, enhancing economic growth and livelihoods while improving access to quality services, such as health, education and finance. It strengthens connectivity at all levels, helping integrate economies, improving social equity, enhancing rural-urban linkages and building resilience. At the same time, there is also recognition of negative environmental, social and health impacts. Close to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions come from transport and these emissions are projected to grow substantially in the years to come, further exacerbating climate change. Other pollutants, most evidently in many urban centres, directly impact health; casualties and deaths from accidents are also on the rise. Increasing connectivity can be accompanied with increasing illicit flows of contraband. Without proactive measures, existing inequalities such as those due to disabilities, gender or remoteness can become even more entrenched, According to the report of the former Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group, sustainable transport seeks to alleviate these negative impacts while “advancing economic and social development to benefit today’s and future generations—in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient”. Click here for more information on sustainable transport.
The second Global Sustainable Transport Conference will draw upon discussions and action on sustainable transport in intergovernmental and other fora. Advances in sustainable transport will contribute to the attainment of many, if not all, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlined in the 2030 Agenda. Some SDGs are directly connected to sustainable transport through targets and indicators, such as SDG 3 on health, which includes a target addressing deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents (3.6), and SDG 11 on sustainable cities which includes a target on providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all and on expanding public transport (11.2). Many others are also connected through the enabling role of sustainable transport across the 2030 Agenda.
The second Global Sustainable Transport Conference will bring together key stakeholders from Governments, UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to discuss the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. All modes of transport—road, rail, aviation and waterborne—will be addressed, and recent scientific and technological advances deliberated. The concerns of vulnerable groups, such as women, the youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the poor, and of many developing countries, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, will receive particular focus. Key transport objectives, such as access for all while leaving no one behind, green mobility, efficiency and safety will be discussed.
The programme of the Conference will reflect the diversity and complexity of the transport sector and will provide an opportunity for policy dialogue as well as forging partnerships and initiatives to advance sustainable transport.
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