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UNESCAP Conjointly with CCTT Organised Webinar on International Agreements on Road and Rail Transport in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic

UNESCAP Conjointly with CCTT Organised Webinar on International Agreements on Road and Rail Transport in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic

On January 27-28 this year, with the support of CCTT, the UNESCAP webinar "International Agreements on Road and Rail Transport in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic " was held as part of the UN System-wide Development Project on the "Transport and Trade Links in the Pandemic Era."

The webinar was attended by representatives of state authorities and the transport industry from more than 20 countries in Asia and Europe (a total of about 200 people).

The UNESCAP Transport Division informed the webinar participants that in May 2020, under the leadership of ESCAP, UNCTAD and ECE, three other UN regional commissions (ECA, ECLAC and ESCWA) organized the UN Inter-Agency Project on Transport and Trade Links in the Pandemic Era, with recommendations for a coordinated response to current and potential emergencies.

An analysis of existing bilateral and multilateral agreements on international transportation (road and rail) with regard to provisions on crisis response and mutual assistance in emergency situations was presented at the UNESCAP seminar.

The participants of the webinar noted that the COVID-19 showed the advantage and efficiency of international transportation of goods by rail in planning contingency actions.

Based on an analysis of existing agreements in the field of international transport, it has been concluded that existing legal instruments governing the international transportation of goods do not have provisions in dealing with critical situations, such as the current pandemic crisis of COVID-19 or other potentially emergency situations that may disrupt the normal way international supply chains and logistics operate.

The participants of the webinar expressed the view that in order to ensure seamless and uninterrupted transportation of goods by road and rail in international traffic in emergency situations, common approaches were needed in the guidelines for action, in particular:

  • Reducing physical contact through the adoption of digital technologies,
  • Taking measures to ensure the safety of goods, including through the use of electronic means of identification;
  • Removing barriers to cross-border trade and transport operations by increasing synergies between border agencies;
  • Strengthening regional and sectoral cooperation to develop joint solutions.

The materials of the webinar can be found on the ESCAP website at the link: Capacity Building Webinar: Road and rail transport agreements in the context of the COVID-19 crisis response | ESCAP (unescap.org)

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