Sustainable road transport connectivity across borders

Organised by UNECE, IRF, IRU, PIARC

Stakeholder Event


23 May


16:30 to 18:00


Hall 5, Level +1

Roads are the oldest and most popularly used mode of transport since they are directly connecting goods, people and services door-to-door or being the “first and last mile” for other modes of transport such as maritime, air and railways. 

An efficient road transport network directly contributes to sustainable transport connectivity and regional integration. Efficiency lies on lower transportation costs, integration of rural economies, generation of savings in travel time and trade through cross-border facilitation and sustainable road infrastructure development. 

However, in most regions, connectivity of road networks is being followed by many challenges such as long waiting times at borders, poor road sections, differences in the vehicle weight and dimension and other safety requirements, driving restrictions in some areas, lack of adequate insurance products covering cross border and transit transport of vehicles, different formats for road signs, signals, signage and markings, visa application processes for professional drivers etc. 

Countries report important differences in modal choice for transport, though road transport remains the dominant mode for both inland freight and especially passenger transport in most ECE countries. The share of tonne-kilometres by road in inland transport is over 50 per cent in 15 of the 23 countries reporting data to UNECE, and the share of passenger kilometres by road is over 70% in every available UNECE country, and up to 90% in some member States.

In light of the importance of the road sector for cross-border and transit transport, UNECE, IRU, PIARC and IRF are jointly organizing a side event entitled “Sustainable road transport connectivity across borders”. Senior representatives from the co-organizing organizations will open the 1.5 hours roundtable event involving 8-10 high-level panellists from governments the private and NGO sectors. 

The panellists and the participants will have the opportunity to discuss and exchange experience and good practices on the three pillars of sustainable road transport: efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability. In particular, the panellists will share the challenges they face in their road transport networks and operations, using these challenges as an opportunity to highlight the successful infrastructure and facilitation solutions which they have implemented, are piloting or which are emerging. 

There will be a spotlight on various challenges relating to traffic rights, customs, contracts on the international carriage of goods by road, road safety, visa for professional drivers and crew, insurance, emission control, dimensions of vehicles, infrastructure standards, road signs and signals, vehicle regulations, the transport of dangerous goods and professional driver fatigue. Innovative infrastructure projects, pilot projects or initiatives from around the world will also be discussed.

The objectives of this side event are to promote sustainable solutions to cross-border and transit transport by road as an indispensable part of transport connectivity, as well as to highlight selected innovative infrastructure projects or initiatives which the co-organizers are involved in. The side event targets to attract a large audience of governments, private sector, academia, MDBs, regional and sub-regional organizations and NGOs, which are working for infrastructural and operational connectivity by road and interested in participating in the Summit on this topic.

This event links well with the 2019 ITF theme of ‘Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration’ as it examines the key enablers of sustainable road transport connectivity.



  • Mr. Kiran Kapila, Chairman, IRF 
  • Mr. Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General, IRU
  • Mr. Patrick Mallejacq, Secretary General, PIARC
  • Mr. Yuwei Li, Director, Sustainable Transport Division, UNECE 
  • Mr. Sergey Andreev, Deputy Director, Ministry of Transport, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Susanna Zammataro, Director General, IRF
  • Mr. Yergen Koziy, Senior Coordinator, BSEC Organisation