Turkmenistan convened Fourth Meeting of the Group of Friends of Sustainable Transport

On December 14, 2023, the Fourth Meeting of the Group of Friends of Sustainable Transport took place in a virtual format, chaired by Turkmenistan. The meeting was attended by heads and representatives of diplomatic missions to the UN from the Group’s member countries, as well as invited Permanent Missions among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolutions on global transport connectivity. Participants included Mr. Juwang Zhu, Director, Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government and Acting Director, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN DESA, Mr. Igor Rounov, Executive Secretary of the International Center for Transport Diplomacy (ICTD), and members of the SLOCAT Partnership on Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport, Mr. Chung Tam, President of the Global Supply Chain Classroom (GSCC), along with representatives from research institutes and academia.

During the meeting, specific attention was given to the following issues:

1. Accession of New Members:

   - membership from Nicaragua, Lao PDR, and Morocco were approved.

2. Implementation of the UN General Assembly 2nd Committee resolution “Strengthening the links between all modes of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”:

   - preparatory activities for the declared United Nations Decade of Sustainable Transport, 2026-2035.

   - the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Transport Cooperation scheduled for April 17, 2024, within the framework of the Global Sustainability Week.

   - Planning for the next UN Global Conference on Sustainable Transport.

   - Organization of annual events dedicated to World Sustainable Transport Day, particularly the international celebration in Turkmenistan on November 26, 2024.

   - Acknowledgment of the importance of the first expert meeting on sustainable transport organized by UN DESA in Geneva on November 22-23, 2023, with a commitment to continue such meetings to systematically implement the transport segment of the 2030 Agenda and relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.

3. Formation of the Advisory Board:

   - Further development of the Group’s Advisory Board. An initial list of international and regional organizations, transport, and logistics companies as candidates for constituent members of the Council was presented. The Advisory Council's main role will be to prepare auxiliary information and analytical materials on the development of transport and international cooperation, involving multilateral partnerships, business communities, scientific and academic circles, and public organizations in implementing the international agenda for sustainable transport.

4. Proposal for a World Transport Diplomacy Academy (WTDA):

   - Support was received from the Group to implement the initiative to establish a WTDA. Plans were announced for the pilot launch of this initiative in February-April 2024 through lectures on multilateral transport diplomacy in a hybrid format, coordinated by the International Center for Transport Diplomacy (ICTD) and the co-chairs of the Group of Friends.

5. Future Activities:

   - Emphasis on the need to expand the activities of the Group to facilitate regular exchange of views on overcoming challenges in the transport and logistics sector, minimizing regional and global barriers, and discussing new initiatives of UN member states in transport development.

6. Next Meeting:

   - Proposal was announced to convene the next Fifth Meeting of the Group of Friends at the ministerial level in April 2024, on the eve of the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Transport Cooperation on April 17, 2024.

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