World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Ancient Silk Road To Get Its Modern Counterpart

Ancient Silk Road To Get Its Modern Railway Counterpart At UN Regional Conference

New York, Nov 6 2006 10:00AM
A railway version of the famed Silk Road is set to move a step closer to reality at a regional United Nations transport conference that opened in the Republic of Korea (ROK) today, with an agreement for a trans-continental network linking national systems from Armenia to Viet Nam.

“We are here because we dare to dream – of revitalizing the spirit of enterprise that symbolizes the ancient Silk Road,” UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su told the meeting in ROK’s southern port city of Busan. “Our work this week will constitute policy decisions forᾠbuilding interlinked highways and raiῬways for 21st century Asia.

He noted that decisions made during the Conference could transform remote parts of the region into interconnected hubs of economic vitality and social progress. “We need to deal with a range of infrastructure and institutional barriers that blunt the competitive edge of exports and increase the costs of imports,” he said. “Much work lies ahead of us, to develop efficient and truly cost-effective transport linkages.

Some 300 high-ranking officials are meeting from 6-8 November ahead of the ministerial meeting scheduled for 10-11 November. More than 50 ministerial-level representatives from 43 of UNESCAP’s 61 members are expected to attend.

One of the highlights of the conference is the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR) on 10 November. Once signed, the treaty will be deposited with Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York.

The TAR accord comes on the heels of the Asian Highway Network that came into force last year, also under UNESCAP auspices. UNESCAP experts believe that port efficiency can be enhanced through the integration of rail and shipping to avoid port congestion, a key factor in Asia, which is home to 13 of the world’s top 20 container ports.

TAR is also crucial for landlocked countries whose access to world markets is heavily dependent on efficient links to the region’s main international ports. Twelve of the world’s 30 landlocked countries are in Asia, and 10 are TAR members.

TAR members are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam.

A Ministerial Declaration on Transport will include a framework for the efficient and effective implementation of a regional action programme. It is designed to set the direction of transport development in the UNESCAP region over the next five years.

A second Ministerial Declaration will focus on improving road safety. UNESCAP estimates that by 2020 approximately 610,000 road deaths, representing two-thirds of the world’s total, will be in the UNESCAP region.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news