(UN Press Release- New York, Nov 18, 2014) With trillions of dollars expected to be invested in transport infrastructure and air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions rising, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tasked his High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport with finding viable solutions to promote public health and safety, environmental protection and economic growth through sustainable transport.
Comprised of Government, civil society and private sector leaders, the Advisory Group will work with Governments, transport providers, businesses, financial institutions, civil society and others to promote and accelerate the implementation of sustainable transport.
“The opportunities for sustainable transport are profound and we must take action,” Mr. Ban said as he met with a number of the Group’s members. “Transport is vital for everyone, and with the right mix of solutions sustainable transport will help us to realize a better future by helping to reduce poverty while protecting the planet and driving economic growth.”
Mr. Ban requested that the Group ensure the close alignment of transport with inclusive and equitable growth, social development, and environmental protection.
The Advisory Group held its first meeting on 17 November, and agreed to its priority areas and work plan for its three-year term. Among other things, the Group will look for practical ways to unlock the potential of sustainable transport to contribute to poverty alleviation, sustainable growth and sustainable urbanization. It was noted that to realize this goal, all modes of transport must be considered, including aviation, marine, ferry, rail and road.
The Group agreed to address a whole range of issues essential to transport, including access, accessibility, affordability, efficiency, climate and environmental impacts, public health and safety. It also decided to look at cross-cutting issues such as education, gender, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.
To accomplish its goals, the Group will provide a global message and recommendations on sustainable transport. It will launch a “Global Transport Outlook Report” by July 2016 to provide analytical support for these recommendations and help mobilize action and initiatives in support of sustainable transport on the global, regional, local and sector levels, with a particular focus on urbanization.
The Group will support the organization of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference that will be convened by the Secretary-General towards the end of 2016. It will promote the integration of sustainable transport in relevant intergovernmental processes, including by making recommendations on the formulation and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.