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Transport Ministers, international organisations and financial institutions join forces with IRU to revitalise the Ancient Silk Road

Date

20 Jun 2011

Sections

Transport

Transport Ministers, representatives of International Organisations and financial institutions, as well as 350 delegates attending the 6th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference call upon governments to effectively support the revitalisation of the Ancient Silk Road by implementing key UN multilateral trade and international road transport facilitation instruments, and developing roadside auxiliary services to promote and further facilitate trade and international road transport operations across the Eurasian landmass.

 

 

Tbilisi – The 6th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference, Ministerial meeting, as well as the first ever International Organisations and Financial Institutions Coordination Meeting today all concluded that it is imperative to promote and further facilitate trade and international road transport to drive economic growth, social stability and prosperity on the Eurasian landmass.

The IRU Tbilisi Conference Declaration, unanimously adopted by all participants, highlights that “the world economic crisis has hindered general economic development …except in regions where road transport has been promoted and further facilitated, recognising efficient international road transport as a pre-requisite for economic growth …in particular for landlocked countries along the ancient Silk Road” and calls for governments to “implement the key UN facilitation instruments, such as the Harmonization and TIR Conventions, to reduce border waiting times, and maintain, in public-private partnership, roads and roadside installations and other relevant facilities, as per the IRU's Model Highway Initiative (MHI).”

The Joint Ministerial Declaration adopted in a parallel meeting stresses that “trade routes and transport links, as provided by international road transport, are inseparable and mutually reinforce each other, [and that] priority should be given to removing procedural barriers and building missing intercontinental links as well as feeder routes for local populations, industry, agriculture and trade.”

The Joint Declaration of International Organisations and Financial Institutions recognises “the considerable importance of reviving the Great Silk Road, and the role played by road transport in driving economic development, social stability, trade relations and regional economic cooperation between the states in the vast Euro-Asian region, in particular land-locked countries” and highlights their common resolve to “increase the level of cooperation and coordination with the aim to work towards a higher level of efficiency and coherence in all aspects of development of Euro-Asian transport links and revival of the Great Silk Road; and focus political attention and investments on implementing key UN multilateral trade and transport facilitation instruments, such as the Harmonisation and TIR Conventions, as well as on developing auxiliary road side infrastructure.”

Closing the IRU conference, IRU Secretary General, Martin Marmy, concluded, “if the common objective of all of us is to revitalise trade along the ancient Silk Road to drive progress, prosperity and ultimately peace, then the priority is to focus our concerted efforts on the rapid and effective implementation of the UN trade and international road transport facilitation conventions rather than focussing on lack of infrastructure…The Silk Road embodies the spirit of discovery and exchange. It is with this spirit that we encourage people to look for what unites them instead of what divides them.”

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