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Sustainable transport connectivity in Asia and the Pacific
Description/achievement of initiative

It is a new 5-year regional programme (2017-2021) for enhancing transport connectivity with balanced integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. It is centred with an integrated intermodal transport system, which optimizes the development of interconnected highways, railways, waterways, ports; minimizes consumption of energy, land and other resources; generates lower emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone depleting substances and other pollutants; and minimizes the adverse social impacts arising from transport construction and operations. The system also incorporates rural poverty alleviation, urban congestion and road safety. It assists developing countries in achieving such a transport system.

Implementation methodologies

It will be implemented by ESCAP in cooperation with members and associated members as well as international, regional and subregional partners. ESCAP will plan and organize activities according to the programme endorsed by the ministerial conference. ESCAP will undertake research and analysis on legal instruments, standards and tools, and facilitate intergovernmental process to consider and adopt the instruments, standards and tools. ESCAP will then organize capacity building seminars, workshops and advisory services to disseminate the products and assist members and associate members in applying the products. In the implementation process, ESCAP will cooperate with partners at different stages according to the need and mutual interests.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The new programme focuses on capacity building of developing countries, in particular least developed, landlocked developing and small island developing states, for achieving sustainable transport connectivity. ESCAP will help developing countries develop their capacity in formulating and implementing policies and plans to enhance transport connectivity with incorporation of SDGs, negotiating intergovernmental agreements and norms to support physical and operational connectivity in a sustainable manner, applying sustainable transport connectivity tools, and supporting intergovernmental platform to achieve smart and green transport corridors. Joint capacity building activities with other relevant agencies, organizations and institutions will be encouraged in the implementation process.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The programme will be coordinated through an intergovernmental committee on transport under the ESCAP commission, which holds meetings biennially with participation of governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies, international financing institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and research institutes. The committee reviews progress of the programme, discusses new emerging issues, provides guidance on the future direction, and adopts key outcomes of the programme. At the end of the programme, a ministerial conference will be organized to review progress of the programme in the five years and consider and adopt a new programme.


62 members and associate members of ESCAP, UNCTAD, UN-OHRLLS, WB, ADB, AIIB, IDB, OSJD, ASEAN, ECO, EEC, SAARC, SCO, GTI, SPC, UITP, UIC and FIATA
Progress reports
Goal 1
1.1 - By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
Goal 2
2.1 - By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
Goal 3
3.6 - By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
Goal 7
7.3 - By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Goal 9
9.1 - Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
Goal 11
11.2 - By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
Goal 13
13.1 - Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
13.2 - Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
13.3 - Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Goal 16
16.2 - End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
Goal 17
17.11 - Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020
17.14 - Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
17.16 - Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.18 - By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
Jan 2017-Dec 2021
Legal instruments, standard setting, development and application of tools, seminars/workshops, advisory services
Other, please specify
Regular and Extra budgetary funding
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff will work for the implementation

Basic information
Time-frame: 1 Jan. 2017 - 31 Dec. 2021
62 members and associate members of ESCAP, UNCTAD, UN-OHRLLS, WB, ADB, AIIB, IDB, OSJD, ASEAN, ECO, EEC, SAARC, SCO, GTI, SPC, UITP, UIC and FIATA
Contact information
Yuwei Li, Director, Transport Division, liy@un.org
United Nations