Welcome to the United Nations

1. What is the Global Sustainable Transport Conference?
Recognizing the fundamental role of sustainable transport in fighting climate change and achieving sustainable development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will convene the first-ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference. The Conference will be held on 26 and 27 November 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and will contribute to the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets.

2. Why is an international Conference on sustainable transport necessary?
Sustainable transport and mobility are crucial for sustainable development. They offer people access to crucial goods and services and allow them to live healthy and fulfilled lives. However, adequate transport infrastructure and affordable transport services are still lacking globally. Moreover, increased urbanization and motorization have resulted in unprecedented congestion, wasteful energy use, increased motor vehicle emissions and deteriorating urban air quality in many cities, in both industrialized and developing countries, with serious negative impacts on public health and well-being, living conditions and climate change. The furthering of sustainable transport and the establishment of affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound transport systems is therefore crucial and will be at the centre of the discussions at the Conference.

3. Who will attend?
About 2,000 participants are expected to attend the Conference, including key stakeholders from Governments, UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society, to engage in a dialogue that emphasizes the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in driving sustainable development worldwide.

4. What will be discussed?
All modes of transport—road, rail, aviation and maritime—will be addressed as well as the following issues:

  • Sustainable transport and sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Rural and urban transport
  • Public transport
  • Sustainable transport and climate change
  • Sustainable transport and energy
  • Road safety
  • Financing for sustainable transport
  • Countries in special situations

At the same time, discussions will address the issue of how to find a new paradigm for transport sustainability.

5. How is the Conference structured?
The Conference will be a two-day meeting (26-27 November 2016) consisting of an opening and closing ceremony. In addition, each day will contain a plenary session in the morning with statements of commitment and ambition, followed by parallel thematic discussions on various sustainable transport-related topics. Side events, including a Business Forum, will be held on the margins of the official meetings of the Conference.

6. What does the Conference hope to achieve?
Apart from offering mutual learning and knowledge exchange, the Conference will provide a platform for forging partnerships and launching initiatives to advance sustainable transport objectives.

7. Will there be side events?
Side events sponsored by Governments, UN system and other inter-governmental organizations, as well as major groups and other stakeholders, will be organized on the margins of the official meetings of the Conference. The side events will allow additional informal space for sharing experiences and provide alternative opportunities for dialogue. They will be coordinated and managed by the Conference Secretariat. Deadline for applications is 19 September 2016. For guidelines and request form, please see above under "Introduction".

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