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The GPST and the Government of Turkmenistan jointly convene the Ashgabat Business Forum on “Businesses in action for Sustainable Transport to leave no-one behind for 2030”

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The Ashgabat Business Summit: “Businesses in action for Sustainable Transport to leave no-one behind for 2030”


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 27 November 2016

Hotel Yyldyz 


The first United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Transport that will convene on 26 – 27 November 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan marks a historic turn for the global sustainable transport agenda. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) noted that the role of transport in sustainable development was first recognised at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit and was reinforced in its outcome document – the Agenda 21. The UN General Assembly for its part has acknowledged that transportation is expected to be the major driving force behind a growing world demand for energy over the next twenty years. Moreover, the recent UN Habitat III Conference that took place from 17- 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador placed emphasis on access to transport as an imperative to ensure the evolution of inclusive and sustainable cities.

The Ashgabat Business Summit will provide a global venue for business and industry leaders to share ideas, formulate solutions and to accelerate global cooperation on sustainable transport. The Summit will be business and industry-driven, focusing on strategic multi-modal reflection on today’s most pressing sustainable transport challenges and the enormous business opportunities that may emerge from the solutions proposed to meet such challenges. Participants will consider innovative ways to respond to the growing global demand for transport services, which is a fundamental pillar for economic growth, and how businesses can create value while helping to achieve the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Ashgabat Transport Business Summit will provide a global venue for business and industry leaders to share ideas, formulate solutions and to accelerate global cooperation on sustainable transport. The Summit will be business and industry-driven, focusing on strategic multi-modal reflection on today’s most pressing sustainable transport challenges and the enormous business opportunities that may emerge from the solutions proposed to meet such challenges. Participants will consider innovative ways to respond to the growing global demand for transport services, which is a fundamental pillar for economic growth, and how businesses can create value while helping to achieve the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Ashgabat Transport Summit will address vital issues that impact sustainable multi-modal transport development, including seamless mobility, efficiency, financing and investments, and the future of transport. Speakers will include senior decision makers from transport companies, government representatives and key players in global financing for sustainable transport.

ASHGABAT TRANSPORT BUSINESS SUMMIT PROGRAMME

9:00–10:00

High level Welcome Plenary Session featuring the Office of the President of Turkmenistan and the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, IRU Secretary General and presentations by High-Level Representatives of International and Specialised United Nations System Organisations.

10:00–11:00




Session 1: Sustainable Transport and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the industry’s contribution to SDGs implementation

Exploring the business case for implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – What’s good for development is good for business – Rapid-fire presentation of industry actions to support SDGs implementation.

While there is no single SDG dedicated to transport, major UN Declarations such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have cited sustainable transport as being key to the achievement of the SDGs. SDG target 11.2 in particular reflect UN Member States’ commitment to “By 2030 provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all…” Hence, this session will discuss the core role of transport in the implementation of the SDGs as it connects people to jobs, education, and health services; it enables the supply of goods and services around the world; and allows people to interact and generate the knowledge and solutions that foster long-term growth. The session will also review industry Best Practices to support the implementation of the SDGs.

11:00–12:00




Session 2: Ensuring access to transport – Mobility and passenger transport in helping populations to access opportunities for growth and prosperity

Considering national and regional Best Practices that enhance seamless mobility: The role of passenger transport in enhancing urban mobility and increasing rural-urban connectivity.

Smart urban mobility and connectivity to rural areas has become core to debates and initiatives on increasing access to transport systems. While Best Practices predominantly focus on urban mobility, they reveal the inextricable link between the role of sustainable transport systems in providing access to economic opportunities in urban centers, which benefits flow to populations in rural areas. Best Practices can help countries to tailor urban planning to respond to special policy objectives, national and regional specificities in topography, demographics and to generally select the best options to ensure access and efficiency in sustainable transport planning.

12:00–13:00

Session 3: Facilitating transport and transit of goods along major transit corridors – strengthening global supply chains: Examining constraints and evaluating solutions

Translating UN Resolutions and UN Declarations into practical actions to facilitate trade and transit: Recommendations aimed at eliminating existing hurdles in global supply chains; the adoption of hard and soft infrastructure to facilitate border crossing procedures; accession to UN harmonisation and trade facilitation instruments.

The recent adoption of UN Resolutions on sustainable transport has significantly enhanced the international legal framework for sustainable transport. The consensus reflected in recent UN Resolutions signifies UN Members’ increasing willingness to harmonise border crossing procedures with a view to facilitating trade and transit of goods across borders, which will have positive effects on volumes of regional and global trade. This session will also assess the impact of the development of trade and transit corridors in facilitating regional and global trade and their contribution to the economic revitalisation of regions.

13:00–14:00

Lunch

14:00–14:30

Signing of business agreements and MOUs, announcements

14:30–15:15




Session 4: The role of public private partnerships (PPPs) in identifying innovative financing solutions for sustainable transport infrastructure development

Examining mode-specific innovative infrastructure investment projects for inter alia, port development, airport construction and renovations; fleet renewal and upgrades; ancillary roadside infrastructure.

The lack of flexibilities in traditional sources of financing including donor grants and loans from International Financing Institutions (IFCs) has compelled new thinking about transport infrastructure financing. National investment funds for railroad rehabilitation and improvement, private maritime investment funds, road investment funds and other mode-specific innovative instruments have been developed to respond to the growing demand for the modernisation of transport systems. This session will explore existing financing models and how public and private resources can be combined to facilitate the development and improvement of transport systems. The session will also consider developments in China’s efforts in recent years to create investment funds for the development and upgrade of transport infrastructure, which have drawn international attention to the need to explore non-traditional means to finance transport infrastructure.

15:15–16:00




Session 5: Information Communications Technology for safer, smarter and more energy efficient transport systems

Exploring win-win opportunities for industry, for the environment and to achieve access for populations to transport

Mobile technologies and intelligent transport systems help people to better access opportunities and manage their lives through easier and safer commuting across modes. ICT also helps transport operators to better manage vehicles, infrastructure and facilities, they promote safety and security in transport and they facilitate the movement of people and goods. Modern, energy-saving transport systems also lower emissions and pollutants and reduce the sector’s carbon footprint on the environment. This session will therefore examine the vast opportunities offered by ICT for continued innovation and the creation new markets and services in the transport sector.


16:00–16:45




Session 6: The future of sustainable transport and innovative policies

Solving the access to transport through multi-modality to address today’s most pressing transport challenges.                  

Transport is widely recognised as being a crucial driver of economic and social development. Data compiled over the years on trends, needs and opportunities in the transport sector have convinced governments and industry to more closely examine evolving sustainable urban mobility patterns in order to formulate appropriate policies and responses for future transport users. This has given way to such novelties in transport as automated vehicles, bus-rapid transit systems, electric tramways, the construction of light rail lines, and other futuristic initiatives such as the idea for a new high-speed ground transport system called the Hyperloop. These novelties, while promising to facilitate mobility will also make transport systems more efficient, accessible, cost- and energy-efficient and safer for future transport users and operators. 

 16:30 The Rapporteur of the Summit is leaving to report at the closing ceremony of the Ashgabat Conference

16:45–17:00

Plenary closing Ceremony

The plenary will take stock of the outcome of all sessions and consider recommendations and future actions by sustainable transport stakeholders, which shall be reflected in the final document of the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit.

Adoption of the Ashgabat Business Summit Declaration

Adoption of the Address from the Business Summit to H.E. Mr Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, President of Turkmenistan