The expert meeting on regional cooperation in transit transport, convened in accordance with the decision taken by the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board at its forty-first executive session in April 2007, will be held on 27 and 28 September 2007. The meeting will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. Thursday, 27 September 2007.
Background and purpose of the meeting
The issue of transit transport is at the forefront of deliberations by the international community, including through the process initiated by the Almaty Programme of Action, which was adopted in 2003. The United Nations General Assembly has confirmed that an Almaty mid term review will take place in 2008 with the aim to take stock of the developments and progress thus far.
The lack of territorial access to the sea adversely affects the competitiveness of landlocked countries in the global economy and hence their ability to participate in and benefit from international trade. UNCTAD has for many years worked on removing obstacles faced by landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries, and has brought tangible solutions. In its experience, the establishment of efficient transit transport systems which use infrastructure and facilities along the transit route depends mainly on successful cooperative arrangements between landlocked developing countries and their neighbours. To this extent, emerging transport management techniques, such as those incorporating information and communication technology in integrated transport systems and door-to-door logistic services, can be highly relevant in improving transit transport efficiency.
The expert meeting will analyse recent trends in regional cooperation in transit transport. It will identify models and best practices to improve international transit transport operations based on practical solutions, including the use of information technologies and systems. It will also review the institutional operational arrangements for multimodal door-to-door transport operations and best practices of successful transit arrangements, and will elaborate central elements for improving the efficiency of transit transport operations.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 10 September 2007. These experts will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities and are expected to have proven expertise in the subject. They may be selected from governmental and non-governmental organizations, private entities or academia.
The meeting will be of particular interest to government officials and representatives of the private sector who deal with:
transit, trade and transport, and related issues
the use of information and communications technology in trade and transport
trade and transport law
- supply-chain security matters
Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 10 September 2007.
Funds will be made available to finance the participation of a very limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation; needs of beneficiaries, in particular those of least developed countries; the expertise of the experts concerned; and the type and availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.
Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 15 August 2007, and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:
Telephone and fax number
- Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva
It should be noted in this connection that once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations. Use of the least costly fare will be authorized.
Background documents and contributed papers
The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.30/1. In order to facilitate discussion, the secretariat is preparing a background note, which will be circulated as TD/B/COM.3/EM.30/2.
Experts are encouraged to submit written contributions related to their country´s experience on the subject under discussion. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.
The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.
Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open non-stop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.
Further information and contact details
Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to Mr. Poul Hansen, coordinator of the expert meeting in the substantive division (Division for Services Infrastructure for Development and Trade Efficiency); office E.7043, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; tel: +41 (0) 22 917 3258; fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0050; e-mail: Poul.Hansen@unctad.org.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
13 July 2006