10th Session of Euro-Asia Transport Links (EATL)

The 10th session of the Group of Experts on Euro-Asia Transport Links (EATL) was held on 27-28 May 2014 in Geneva. The Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL) is a joint undertaking between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The EATL works in the framework of the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5), an intergovernmental body that provides a pan-European forum for exchange of ideas concerning sustainable inland transport across the pan-European region. The EATL project has identified main Euro-Asian road and rail routes for priority development and cooperation.

The following Member States participated in the 10th session: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and Ukraine. The Trans-European Railway (TER), the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Lithuanian Railways were also participating in the session.

Mr. Jarullah Mansory, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation was representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the 10th session.

Views were exchanged on the importance of ports as starting/ending points of EATL rail and road routes between Asia and Europe. In addition, demand for an improved overland links in Central and East Asia was noted during the session. It was also noted that an increasing number of shipping companies were investing in ports hinterland connections through the establishment of rail operators in order to provide door to door services to clients. The experts in the session clarified that the aim of EATL was to create an integrated land transport network that efficiently delivers goods along Euro-Asian corridors.