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MOSCOW, December 14, 20:00 /ITAR-TASS/. The 83rd General Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC) has been held in Paris under the leadership of Vladimir Yakunin, who is both Chairman of the UIC and President of Russian Railways.
The International Union of Railways, which is also known by its French abbreviation UIC, is a highly respected association and includes about 240 organisation in the rail transport sector, Yakunin said in his opening speech. The competitiveness of the railways in the global market of transport services depends on the successful collaboration and coordination of the UIC’s members.
The General Assembly’s most important issues were discussions of the UIC’s 2013 results and its programme of activities in 2014.
The participants in the meeting paid particular attention to the problems of standardisation and legal harmonisation in rail transport, which for historical reasons displays a wide range of regional differences in these areas, in stark contrast to aviation and marine transport. In the event that the functioning of railways can be aligned internationally compared with other modes of transport and international transport corridors are developed, rail transportation could gain a competitive advantage, especially in view of the complete chain of intermodal freight delivery from producer to consumers or door-to-door, Russian Railways said.
At the same time, the European Union is devoting considerable attention to the development of rail transportation since it is more environmentally friendly: worldwide, railways only produce 3 percent of CO2 emissions from the total emissions of all modes of transport while accounting for 9 percent of global transport operations. Carbon dioxide emissions by rail transport per passenger-kilometre decreased by more than 30 percent from 2000 to 2010.
The General Assembly also discussed other issues, such as enhancing the UIC’s participation in shaping global transport policy cooperation in security and safety, research and cooperation with international intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.