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International Cooperation
JSC Russian Railways and international railway оrganizations

JSC Russian Railways and international railway оrganizations

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was established in 1947 to promote the economic and social development of Asia and the Asia-Pacific region (APR).

ESCAP's headquarters are located in the Thai capital Bangkok.

Shamshad Akhtar from Pakistan has been ESCAP's Executive Secretary since February 2014.

ESCAP has 53 members, each of which has the right to a casting vote, including the Russian Federation and seven CIS countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Nine territories of the Asia-Pacific Region are associate members Commission with the right of a consultative vote.

ESCAP's highest body is the annually convened session, which is usually held in May.

The annual sessions focus on the most important problems in social and economic development, including implementing the Millennium Development Goals, developing transport infrastructure, strengthening cooperation in trade and investment, the environment, energy, water resources, statistics, exchanging information and communication technologies and reducing the risk of disasters.

The Commission includes 8 dedicated committees:

  1. Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Comprehensive Development.
  2. Committee on Trade and Investment.
  3. Committee on Transport.
  4. Committee on Environment and Development.
  5. Committee on Information and Communication Technologies.
  6. Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction.
  7. Committee on Social Development.
  8. Committee on Statistics.

Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR)

Within the framework of ESCAP, Russian Railways has been involved in the development of an Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR) for the past several years.

The Agreement reflects common interests in the creation of a land bridge connecting the countries of the Asia-Pacific region with Europe and enables the use of the existing rail transport capacity to handle not only current, but also future traffic volumes as international trade expands.

Russia is actively involved in regional railway cooperation. The Trans-Siberian Railway is the backbone of the TAR network and serves as the main transit bridge connecting Europe and Asia.

The railways of Russia which are part of the TAR network already meet the technical requirements which internationally important lines now have to satisfy.

The dimensions of the loading, the permissible axle load, brake systems etc. meet the necessary requirements for the carriage of international freight.

In many cases, there is a significant margin with regard to the standards set by the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Russian Railways is carrying out a considerable amount of work to modernise and develop fixed infrastructure assets, primarily on those main lines in the network that coincide with the TAR network.

Intergovernmental Agreement on "dry ports"

In addition, in 2010 Russia initiated the development of an intergovernmental agreement on "dry ports."

The draft agreement was developed by ESCAP's member states during a series of meetings funded by Russia and adopted at the Commission's 69th session in Bangkok in May 2013.

The agreement includes a list of logistics centres operating on the TAR network, the range of services provided and through capacity etc.

Facilitating international transport procedures

The ESCAP transport department, together with ESCAP member countries, is carrying out extensive work to simplify transport procedures.

As part of this work, ESCAP's secretariat has established two integrated systems:

  • a system for facilitating the simplification of transport operations;
  • a support system in the field of logistics.

As part of the project, Russia initiated and funded the development of a Regional Framework Programme for the facilitation of international rail transport procedures.

The resolution on the adoption of the strategy prepared by the Russian Federation was approved by ESCAP's 71st session in May 2015.

Russian Railways is also considering cooperation with the Commission as one of the important components in the external economic line in the Asia-Pacific direction.

The emphasis is on strengthening positions in the Asia-Pacific Region, increasing involvement in the processes of economic cooperation in the region and using ESCAP's opportunities to integrate Russia's railways into the global transport system.

Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE ITC)

The Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE ITC) is the UNECE body which regulates international cooperation on land transport between ECE member countries.

As part of its activities, the ITC is updating the UNECE's conventions and agreements in the field of transport and is developing technical regulations and rules governing international freight and passenger transport by road, inland waterways and rail transport, as well as simplifying shipment conditions.

UNECE ITC's work is led by UNECE's Transport Division, which is headed by Ms. Eva Molnar.

Directive No. 908-r of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 26 May 2011 approved the interdepartmental division of responsibilities for ensuring the participation of the Russian Federation in the activities of the UNECE and its subsidiary bodies.

Under the Directive, Russian Railways is empowered by the Government of the Russian Federation to represent the government's interests in this intergovernmental organisation.

Russian Railways is thus the only company that, along with government representatives, is taking part in the development of a systemic transport policy in the European region within the framework of the UN.

This not only increases the Company's authority, but also strengthens the position of the Russian Federation at the UN's largest regional platform.

Russian Railways' experts take part in the following working bodies of the Inland Transport Committee (UNECE ITC) on a permanent basis:

  • Working Group on Trends and Transport Economics (WP.5);
  • Working Group on Rail Transport (SC.2);
  • Working Group on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (WP.24);
  • Subcommittees on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (WP.15);
  • Working Group on Customs Questions affecting Transport (WP.30);
  • Working Group on the Transportation of Perishable Foodstuffs (WP.11);
  • Expert Group on Eurasian transport links (WP.5/GE.2/EATL);
  • Group of Experts on Unified Railway Law (GEURL).

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