IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto was invited by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) last week to advise senior UN officials, prime ministers and ministers from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on how to leverage road transport to drive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A long-standing and trusted partner of UN ECOSOC, IRU holds General Consultative Status, providing advice on issues related to development and road transport.
At the briefing, Umberto de Pretto called on governments to provide financial support to road transport companies to avoid a looming wave of bankruptcies in the sector, the corresponding damage to economic recovery prospects following the pandemic and allow road transport to drive the recovery.
Speaking to the ECOSOC President Munir Akram, he expressed concern that many LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS still have not taken the essential first step to ratify the existing UN instruments to facilitate and secure trade, such as the TIR Convention, which has been identified by the UN Secretary-General as an important tool to effectively address the challenges of the pandemic.
As the only global transit solution, TIR enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a country of destination via a multilateral, multimodal and mutually recognised system, simplifying customs procedures and significantly reducing transport times and costs.