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December 10, 2016



The first ever Global Conference on the Sustainable Transport System, which took place in Ashgabat, raised a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from climate change and ending with road safety. Based on its results, a number of international conventions and agreements have been inked.


The Global Conference was held in accordance with the UN Resolution adopted in December 2015 at the 70th session of the General Assembly. The document that includes key elements of the Ashgabat Declaration of September 2014 provides for a framework for cooperation among all modes of transport on forming continuous chains of cargo along the inter-regional transport corridors, and is a unique document of the General Assembly envisaging comprehensive interaction in the transport sphere in a separate resolution. As a result of high-level meetings of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport in Paris in December 2015 and January 2016 in Washington, proposals were voiced to organize a conference on 26-27 November 2016 in Ashgabat.

The global scope of the conference has led to the participation of high-ranking official delegations from many countries, along with heads of major transnational corporations representing various modes of transport. The event was opened by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.

The principal purpose sought from the forum was a dialogue on specific areas of international partnership for the development of steadfast and sustainable transport systems as an integral and significant element of the agenda for sustainable development. Turkmenistan steps up efforts to create transnational transport corridors in all promising areas. One of them is a transit passage Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman. Its legal basis was laid by the quadripartite intergovernmental agreement on the establishment of a transport corridor “Central Asia – Middle East”, signed in Ashgabat in April 2011. The project seeks to bolster uninterrupted transportation and transit of goods between the countries of Central Asia and the ports of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.

The normative document of this scheme will help increase the speed of transportation of freight in order to optimize shipping costs, and simplify and harmonize official papers and procedures.

Addressing the conference, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov said that Uzbekistan supports China’s initiative to establish the Economic Belt of the Silk Road. “We are convinced that in the long term, building of the shortest rail route to Central Asia will facilitate the connection to a single network the regions of Southeast, Central and South Asia and the Middle East”, Azimov suggested.

According to him, the route of the Great Silk Road even today continues to be “the most important global transcontinental transport corridor, with more than 5 billion people residing along it, accounting for over 60% of world GDP and international trade, while Central Asia has been and remains the pivot of this corridor.”

According to the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo, “it is the first global conference in the history of the UN dedicated to the development of transport, which reflects the growing awareness of the important role played by transportation in the promotion of sustainable development and the fight against climate change”. The UN representative said that the not so safe shipping has been leading to massive loss of life.

Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov:

“The global transport strategy of the 21st century is a policy for integrational breakthrough, combining the geographical and infrastructural capacities, technical and technological opportunities of countries and regions.”

Ban Ki-moon:

“The conference will serve as a platform for sharing experiences and lessons of best practices to strengthen multilateral cooperation in order to advance sustainable transport systems, and for the announcement of specific initiatives in the field of sustainable transport.”