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SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov addressed the session of the Inland Transport Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.
Vladimir Norov noted that this forum makes a significant contribution to the development of transport infrastructure, as well as the active introduction of innovative solutions to environmental and climate problems in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for the period up to 2030.
The SCO's cooperation with the UN and its specialized agencies is expanding year by year and covers all new areas. According to Vladimir Norov, by combining the efforts of the two organizations, it is possible to achieve faster results in different areas.
Thus, within the framework of the SCO, active work is being done to protect the environment, in particular, special attention is paid to ensuring environmental safety in the development of transport communications. According to Vladimir Norov, the transport infrastructure of the SCO countries unites more than 13 million km of roads (almost 20% of the world) and about 312 thousand km of railways, which contributes to the development of trade and logistics cooperation between the member states.
One of the SCO's priority tasks is to deepen international cooperation in the transport sphere, effectively use transit movements, and transport and communication infrastructure for sustainable development.
Transport links are particularly important for landlocked countries. In the SCO, these include Central Asian states located far from sea trade routes. It is for such countries that high transport charges become an obstacle on the way to international markets. Transit costs can account for up to 70% of export revenue. Such countries need technical and financial support from the international community.
Also, as Vladimir Norov noted, the SCO is the initiator of various projects that unite countries and regions: in the field of transport, it is the international transport corridor "North-South" and the "New Asian-European Transcontinental Transport Corridor".
Railway transport has a great unrealized potential. Despite the fact that container traffic from China to Europe has increased 40-fold since 2010, according to the European Commission, rail transport between China and the EU accounted for only 1.3% of trade in 2019. Cooperation in the field of road and rail freight transport between the SCO countries and Europe is also promising.
In 2014, the draft agreement between the governments of the SCO member States on creating favorable conditions for international road transport, prepared by the UNESCAP Secretariat, was signed. Six routes of the agreement provide the participating countries with new opportunities in the sphere of trade, economic, and transport cooperation.
According to the SCO Secretary General, for the most effective use of the Eurasian space, it is necessary to meet such requirements as removing barriers to international transport, improving the regulatory framework and tariff policy. Vladimir Norov stressed that, "the SCO member States are determined to step up work on creating new and modernizing existing transport communications in modern conditions in the name of common interests and for the benefit of our peoples."