Closing remarks at Ministers’ Forum Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference

Minister Li Xiaopeng,
Honorable Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is my honor and pleasure to join you and address you at the closing of the Ministers’ Forum on Sustainable Transport.

I have followed all the statements at this Forum attentively. It has been a privilege to learn from the varied and deep experiences presented by transport ministers, from around the world. Your discussions have underscored the integral role of sustainable transport in poverty eradication, and in economic recovery from COVID-19.

Let me share with you very briefly the following five points:

First, many of you have shared your national experiences in developing, and implementing strategies for sustainable transport. Through these experiences, we have learned, once again, how dependent our modern world is on efficient, safe, reliable and accessible transport.

Indeed, transport is central to:

  • keeping our populations safe, 
  • enabling a return to work, 
  • resuming production, and 
  • maintaining the smooth operation of supply chains.

And as we come to terms with the already catastrophic effects of climate change, transport is also central to rapid mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

Second, as we look ahead, we need to build upon what we have learned, to enable an accelerated transition to sustainable transport.
All actors can rethink passenger and freight transport. All actors can come up with solutions that can accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Recovery efforts should include building resilience to future crises and shocks, such as those from climate change.

We must also improve transport systems’ epidemic prevention-and-response capabilities. We need to ensure the safety and health of transport workers, and the consistent provision of transport services for essential workers.

At the same time, political will, coupled with availability of new technologies, are prompting a transformation towards environmental sustainability. Public finance and stimulus spending can be leveraged to steer supply and demand, towards sustainable transport systems.

Third, while these transformations get under way, we have to ensure also that no one is left behind. We need to expand services towards universal access, improving safety, and reducing the fragility of countries in special situations. This is where international collaboration has a special role to play. Multilateral cooperation can help harness the potential of sustainable transport – to serve as a cross-cutting accelerator for the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Fourth, we must continue to share information and best practices in implementing effective and integrated national, regional, and international strategies for sustainable transport. The United Nations system, through our global network of regional and country offices, will support all governments and stakeholders to this end. 

Fifth, let us all work together to ensure a sustainable recovery. Let us all work together to achieve sustainable transport by accelerating our actions to increase the:

  • safety, 
  • accessibility, 
  • efficiency, 
  • resilience, and 
  • environmental friendliness of transport. 

This is the path to move closer to an equitable and sustainable future for all.

In closing, I would like to congratulate you, Minister Li Xiaopeng, for successfully covening this Ministerial Forum on Sustainable Transport.

I thank you.

File date: 
Friday, October 15, 2021

Mr. Liu