Fourth Ministerial Conference on Transport of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) was convened in hybrid mode in Bangkok from 14 -17 December 2021. Following the opening statements by Minister of Transport of Thailand, Saksayam Chidchob and Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana of UNESCAP, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand and Permanent Representative to the UNESCAP, C.A. Chaminda I Colonne chaired the Ministerial Conference on 16 December 2021, after elected as one of the Vice Chairs of the Bureau. Minister of Transport of Indonesia Budi Karya Sumadi who was elected as the Chair of the Ministerial Conference handed over the proceedings to Ambassador and Permanent Representative Chaminda Colonne.
The Ministerial Roundtable was moderated by Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana and attended by Ministers/Deputy Ministers of Transport of Thailand, Nepal, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation, China and Republic of Korea. Ministers/Deputy Ministers of Transport of Maldives, Nepal, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and representatives from Japan, Bhutan, Iran, USA, Thailand, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Asian Institute of Transport Development ( AITD) addressed the Ministerial Conference.
Delivering the country statement, Minister of Transport of Sri Lanka Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, highlighted that as a long-standing member of the UNESCAP, Sri Lanka is committed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and transport is one of the sectors that can contribute immensely towards realizing these goals. She added that National Policy Framework of the Government gives high priority to transport sector in realizing the importance of having a more reliable, efficient and sustainable transport system and bridging the gap of urban rural divide.
During the Ministerial Conference strategies for scaling up sustainable transport initiatives in Asia and the Pacific to strengthen regional cooperation, assess the implementation of the Regional Action Programme for Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific, phase I (2017-2021) were discussed, and the Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Transport Development in Asia and the Pacific, including a new regional action programme (2022-2026) aligned with the three pillars of sustainability and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted.
Sri Lanka delegation headed by Minister of Transport Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi was comprised of Secretary N.B.M.Ranatunge and Director General W.A.D.S. Gunasinghe of Ministry of Transport, Secretary S. Hettiarachchi of Ministry of Tourism, Secretary D. D. Matharaarachchi of State Ministry of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boat and Shipping Industry Development, Secretary S. M. D. L. K. De Alwis of State Ministry of Vehicle Regulation Bus Transport Service and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry, Additional Secretary W.B. Palugaswewa of Ministry of Highways, First Secretary and Deputy Permanent Representative to UNESCAP Saritha Ranatunga of Sri Lanka Mission in Bangkok and other senior officials from line Ministries and Agencies.
Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
21 December 2021