International Union of Railways (UIC)
Information
  • Date submitted: 27 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: International Union of Railways (UIC)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Access (2 hits),

General Content

a) What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

3.1 The UIC has been involved in many different UN conferences and discussions (including for
example the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, through to the 19th session of the
UNCSD in 2011 and many UNFCCC COP meetings).


3.2 In our view the output documents from many such conferences lack a clear focus on concrete
actions that national governments and international institutions should take to deliver sustainable
development. Where action plans have been created (e.g. Agenda 21), it is not clear who is holding
governments to account for the delivery of these plans.


3.3. With these points in mind, we propose that the Outcome document for Rio+20 should be
structured in the following way:
Section 1: Objectives


This section should be divided between specific sustainable development objectives (e.g.
goals on the Green Economy; Access to Information, etc) and objectives on Institutional
Reform.


Section 2: How these Objectives will be met


For objectives on specific issues, e.g. the Green Economy, the Outcome document


should describe the process by which these objectives will be reached. For example, how
roadmaps be developed to meet the objectives, and national governments will come together to
assess progress.


For objectives concerning Institutional Reform, the Outcome document should already be
able to provide a clear roadmap on how these reforms will be implemented.


3.4 These two sections will have some overlaps ? for example, it may be necessary to reform the
UN CSD process to accommodate the goals reached in the Rio+20 conference. The document
should also have a section on how to measure the results and check if the objectives have been
met.


b) What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

3.5 UIC supports the concept of the Green Economy, however it is crucial that the question of
transportation is included in this debate. There must be a discussion on how we can accommodate
people?s need for greater mobility, and the transportation of goods, with environmental constraints.
From our perspective, railways, and public transport in general, must play a greater role in both
emerging and developed economies, to offer transport solutions with comparably lower environmental
and social costs than road and air transport.


3.6 We would also like to briefly comment that from our long experience in UN negotiations and
conferences, it is quite clear that there is an urgent need for a revitalized global partnership for
sustainable development, both globally and regionally.


3.7 We hope that Rio+20 to achieve this, and in our own way we will contribute to this goal by
encouraging and supporting railway organizations around the world to embrace the concept of
sustainable development and incorporate it into their business operations.


c) What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.);

3.8 The UIC is accredited to ECOSOC and is a member of the Business and Industry Major Group.
From our experience of being involved in the process we have found the Major Group process
relatively effective as we can find consensus and make statements in partnership with colleagues
from other sectors.
d) What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

3.9 The UIC would like to see a stronger and more prominent role for UN CSD, to allow this unit of
the United Nations to track the implementation of sustainable development at the national level.


3.10 The UIC would urge the Rio+20 Secretariat to conduct a ?mapping? exercise to highlight all
the United Nations agencies, departments and institutions currently playing a role in Sustainable
Development (e.g. UN CSD, UNEP, UNDP etc) and assess which of these should be the lead
partner with a coordinating role. Currently, from the point of view of a neutral observer, it can seem
as if the various sections of the UN are competing with each other to take a lead on Sustainable
Development.
Specific Elements
a) Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges.

Contributions could include possible sectoral priorities (e.g., (e.g., energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, water, oceans, sustainable urbanization, sustainable consumption and production, natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, biodiversity, etc.) and sectoral initiatives that contribute to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development could be launched and endorsed at Rio+20.

4. Specific Elements:


a. Objective of the Conference:


4.1 The UIC proposes that the Outcome theme should include a sectoral initiative for the transportation
sector. More specifically, we would recommend that the Outcome Document contain a ?Challenge
to Transport?, constructed in the following way:


a)Challenge to each transport mode


The Rio+20 Outcome Document should challenge the global representatives of the motorized
transport modes (e.g. UIC, IATA, IRF, IRU) to present, within 1 year of publication, a comprehensive
roadmap for sustainable development for their mode.


The UIC already has a global sustainability initiative ? our Declaration on Sustainable Mobility
and Transport, which has been signed by 49 of our 200 members. A copy of the Declaration is
attached. More information can be found here: http://www.uic-sustainability.org/spip.php?article76


b)Multi-Modal Challenge


The Rio+20 Outcome Document should challenge the global transport organizations to produce a joint action plan for improving multi-modal cooperation in the interests of sustainable development worldwide. This should also be produced within 1 year of the Rio+20 conference.


4.2 This concept of a ?Challenge? could be introduced for other sectors too, and coordinated via
the Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012 (BASD 2012).




b) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: views regarding how green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions, and poverty eradication; what is its potential added value; experience to date, including what has worked and how to build upon success, what are the challenges and opportunities and how to address the challenges and seize opportunities, and possible elements of an agreement in outcome document on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication

Please see paragraph 3.5
c) Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities and proposals for strengthening individual pillars of sustainable development, as well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multiple levels; local, national, regional and international.

Please see paragraphs 3.9 and 3.10
d) Any proposals for refinement of the two themes. Recall that Resolution 64/236 describes the focus of the Conference: "The focus of the Conference will include the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development".

No specific remarks.

Full Submission

Paris, 24th October 2011

UIC Input to the Rio+20 Compilation Document

This is the submission of the UIC (International Union of Railways) to the Rio+20 compilation document. UIC is an accredited member of ECOSOC and regularly participates in UNCSD activities as a member of the Major Group ? Business and Industry. This submission follows the structure proposed in the guidance document for submissions.

3. General Content

a. What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

3.1 The UIC has been involved in many different UN conferences and discussions (including for example the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, through to the 19 th session of the UNCSD in 2011 and many UNFCCC COP meetings).

3.2 In our view the output documents from many such conferences lack a clear focus on concrete actions that national governments and international institutions should take to deliver sustainable development. Where action plans have been created (e.g. Agenda 21), it is not clear who is holding governments to account for the delivery of these plans.

3.3. With these points in mind, we propose that the Outcome document for Rio+20 should be structured in the following way:

Section 1: Objectives

This section should be divided between specific sustainable development objectives (e.g. goals on the Green Economy; Access to Information, etc) and objectives on Institutional Reform.

Section 2: How these Objectives will be met

For objectives on specific issues, e.g. the Green Economy, the Outcome document should describe the process by which these objectives will be reached. For example, how roadmaps be developed to meet the objectives, and national governments will come together to assess progress.

For objectives concerning Institutional Reform, the Outcome document should already be able to provide a clear roadmap on how these reforms will be implemented.

3.4 These two sections will have some overlaps ? for example, it may be necessary to reform the UN CSD process to accommodate the goals reached in the Rio+20 conference. The document should also have a section on how to measure the results and check if the objectives have been met.

b. What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

3.5 UIC supports the concept of the Green Economy, however it is crucial that the question of transportation is included in this debate. There must be a discussion on how we can accommodate people?s need for greater mobility, and the transportation of goods, with environmental constraints. From our perspective, railways, and public transport in general, must play a greater role in both emerging and developed economies, to offer transport solutions with comparably lower environmental and social costs than road and air transport.

3.6 We would also like to briefly comment that from our long experience in UN negotiations and conferences, it is quite clear that there is an urgent need for a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, both globally and regionally.

3.7 We hope that Rio+20 to achieve this, and in our own way we will contribute to this goal by encouraging and supporting railway organizations around the world to embrace the concept of sustainable development and incorporate it into their business operations.

c. What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.);

3.8 The UIC is accredited to ECOSOC and is a member of the Business and Industry Major Group. From our experience of being involved in the process we have found the Major Group process relatively effective as we can find consensus and make statements in partnership with colleagues from other sectors.

d. What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

3.9 The UIC would like to see a stronger and more prominent role for UN CSD, to allow this unit of the United Nations to track the implementation of sustainable development at the national level.

3.10 The UIC would urge the Rio+20 Secretariat to conduct a ?mapping? exercise to highlight all the United Nations agencies, departments and institutions currently playing a role in Sustainable Development (e.g. UN CSD, UNEP, UNDP etc) and assess which of these should be the lead partner with a coordinating role. Currently, from the point of view of a neutral observer, it can seem as if the various sections of the UN are competing with each other to take a lead on Sustainable Development.

4. Specific Elements:

a. Objective of the Conference:

4.1 The UIC proposes that the Outcome theme should include a sectoral initiative for the transportation sector. More specifically, we would recommend that the Outcome Document contain a ?Challenge to Transport?, constructed in the following way:

a) Challenge to each transport mode

The Rio+20 Outcome Document should challenge the global representatives of the motorized transport modes (e.g. UIC, IATA, IRF, IRU) to present, within 1 year of publication, a comprehensive roadmap for sustainable development for their mode.

The UIC already has a global sustainability initiative ? our Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport, which has been signed by 49 of our 200 members. A copy of the Declaration is attached. More information can be found here: http://www.uic-sustainability.org/spip.php?article76

b) Multi-Modal Challenge

The Rio+20 Outcome Document should challenge the global transport organizations to produce a joint action plan for improving multi-modal cooperation in the interests of sustainable development worldwide. This should also be produced within 1 year of the Rio+20 conference.

4.2 This concept of a ?Challenge? could be introduced for other sectors too, and coordinated via the Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012 (BASD 2012).

b. Green economy

Please see paragraph 3.5

c. Institutional framework for sustainable development: Please see paragraphs 3.9 and 3.10

d. Any proposals for refinement of the two themes No specific remarks.

I hope this input is useful, and the UIC wishes the UN all best wishes for the Rio+20 conference.

Alexander VEITCH

Head of Unit ? Sustainable Development

Attachment: Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport

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