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UIC at CSD19- Learning Centre

UIC Learning Centre Session at UN CSD 19 on Sustainable Transport

Friday 7 September 2012

Our participation in the CSD 19 was three-fold : first we attended the preparatory meeting (see previous article) and then we attended the conference : we participated in a Learning Center and we officially launched our Declaration on Sustainable Transport.

The Learning Center

Responding to the call made by the Commission for Sustainable Development, UIC and the New York-based Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) held a Learning Centre Session at the 19th Meeting of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UN CSD) at the United Nations in New York On Tuesday 10th of May 2011.
To discover what a Learning Center is, please see the call itself :

The session entitled “Sustainable Development & Transport: Practical Solutions” was opened and moderated by Alexander Veitch, Senior Advisor Sustainable Development of UIC. The session was attended by national delegates and UN officials, present for the UNCSD meeting, from countries as diverse as Columbia, Senegal and Japan.

Henning Schwarz, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit of UIC, presented the sustainability approach adopted in the rail sector, including recent policies, strategies and improvements, and Ramon Cruz, climate change policy specialist of ITDP presented successful sustainable urban transport projects all over the world. More precisely, they explained how we could improve sustainability of existing transport systems. The rail industry was used as a case study of how to improve the sustainability of transport operations, including environmental, social and economic development initiatives, and sustainability indicators. They further insisted on the importance of developing new sustainable transport projects showing practical case studies of successful, cost-effective public transport projects that directly addressed traffic congestion and environmental problems, with a particular focus on urban areas in developing countries.

Henning Schwarz giving the UIC presentation :

Henning Schwarz at the Learning Centre

The Outcomes

Following the presentations, participants discussed the vision for future sustainable transport in urban, inter-city and freight markets, and shared their experiences of solving challenges (financial, political and technical) that can stand in the way of achieving this vision. The need for cooperation was underlined during this discussion.

Participants agreed on the urgent need to act to improve the sustainability of transport systems, and agreed that measures should be tailored to specific local conditions, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, while at the same time learning from good practice in other places.

UIC concluded the session by underlining that “Railways worldwide are prepared to be the backbone of such sustainable transport systems” and offering the support of UIC to cooperate and share technical information on railway systems.

During the CSD, we launched our Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport. For more information, please Follow the link.