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PPP to drive transport and transit in Central Asia and the Caspian region


18 May 2012



International Conference on “Prospects of transport and transit development in Central Asia and the Caspian region”, co-organised by the Turkmen government, the UNECE, UN-OHRLLS and the IRU, highlights the need for PPP and a UN Special Programme to address transport and transit challenges and opportunities in the region.

Ashgabat – The International Road Transport Union (IRU), in partnership with the Turkmen government, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) today held an International Conference to explore the prospects of transport and transit development, and address challenges and opportunities to promote and further facilitate trade and international road transport in Central Asia and the Caspian region.

Some 180 representatives of governmental agencies, international organisations and businesses from 18 countries, addressed the development potential of trade, international road transport and transit across the Turkmen territory and the key role of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The effective implementation of the facilitation and security provided by international agreements and UN Conventions, such as the Harmonisation and TIR Conventions, was also identified as instrumental in achieving these objectives.

Opening the Conference, IRU President Janusz Lacny, stated, “Due to Turkmenistan’s unique geographical location on the crossroads between East and West, North and South, the role of international road transport and transit in this country is extremely important…I am pleased that this conference results from the genuine Public-Private Partnership between the IRU and the Turkmen government and with all the key organisations present with us today.  Indeed, we are all driven by a mutual desire to reinforce our cooperation to ensure effective and sustainable development of trade and international road transport.”

In the opening message to participants stated on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, it was stressed that the Conference would play a significant role in strengthening international cooperation in the development of transport communications. It would contribute to the economies of states in the region by facilitating trade, economic development and social stability and providing additional jobs.

Conference participants supported the Turkmen President’s call for a UN Special Programme on the development of the transit-transport potential between the Caspian and Black Seas and to all the major world markets. It was also agreed to undertake a study highlighting the transport and transit opportunities between the Caspian and Black Seas, Central Asia and Near East, and to establish a Working Group to investigate transport and transit issues in the Central Asian and Caspian regions. 

IRU Secretary General Martin Marmy, concluded, “This conference represents an important contribution to the implementation of the UN Almaty Programme of Action, addressing the special needs of landlocked developing countries. The development of transport connections between different regions of the world is an issue of global importance that requires close cooperation with several of the UN Regional Commissions and other international organisations.”

See the Conference speeches, presentations and pictures

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