At the invitation of the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto took part in a high-level panel on regional integration and infrastructure connectivity in New York last week.
Forming part of the Assembly’s plenary devoted to the mid-term review of the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the decade 2014–2024, IRU was the only private sector representative participating in the discussions.
One of the meeting’s highlights was the adoption of a resolution calling upon governments to implement existing legal instruments such as TIR, the only global transit system, created by IRU in 1949.
“In order to effectively become land-linked, countries first need the political will and resolve to do so,” stated Mr de Pretto in his address. “I urge those governments that have not already done so to join TIR, in order to support their respective countries’ efforts to pursue the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
At the moment, only 11 out of 32 landlocked countries have taken the prerequisite step of implementing the UN TIR system to harmonise, facilitate and secure their trade and transit. Elsewhere, trucks remain stuck at borders for hours, days and even weeks.
The newly adopted UN resolution paves the way for further TIR implementation in landlocked countries, to help them to achieve the economic, social and environmental objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.