Conference to set "new direction" for global transport

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Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, addresses the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The first ever global conference on sustainable transport will set a "new direction" that will protect the environment and foster prosperity.

That's according to the senior UN official leading the conference which takes place this weekend in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Wu Hongbo, who heads the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, DESA, said that the ground-breaking summit "reflects the growing awareness" of the crucial role that transportation plays in sustainable development.

Matthew Wells has more.

Mr Wu told the first press conference on Friday, ahead of the summit, that there were major challenges facing the transportation sector, which is responsible for generating around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.

He pointed out that 1.25 million people each year are killed in traffic collisions, 90 per cent of which were in developing countries.

He said that more sustainable transport solutions would help create the overall sustainability infrastructure of the future, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, agreed by 193 countries just last year.

The conference provided a major opportunity to further Agenda 2030, he said.

"It will bring together governments, the United Nations systems, the private sector and civil society to set a new direction for global transport, a direction that fosters prosperity and well-being, while protecting the environment."

He said that investing in sustainable transport would help empower women, persons with disabilities and he described the conference as a valuable "knowledge exchange" for all participants.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"                

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