2. The Director of the Transport Division welcomed the representatives and presented the strategic orientation of the Division. She provided an outlook on the development of transport to 2020–2030 and the projected global increase of the middle class population, which would result in an increasing demand for individual mobility. She, therefore, welcomed the work done by the World Forum and encouraged the adoption of the UN GTR on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell vehicles as a sustainable solution to address these future needs. She reported on the outcome of the second UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May 2013, Geneva). She informed WP.29 about on-going activities to increase the safety at road/railway crossings, about cooperation with the insurance industry and, finally, welcomed the work of the World Forum on e-call systems.
3. Addressing especially the Asian delegations, the Director invited the representatives to attend the session of the Working Party on Road Safety (WP.1) in New Delhi on 4-6 December 2013. She added that WP.1 continues to address the real or perceived issue of “consistency”, i.e. relation between the provisions of the 1968 Vienna Conventions and the vehicle regulations developed in the framework of the 1958 and 1998 Agreements. She also reported on on-going activities in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). She recalled the workshop on “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets” jointly organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which will take place in the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27 June 2013. Finally, she underlined the importance of transport for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and that the World Forum representatives were invited to support the establishment of a Sustainable Development Goal on transport in the post 2015 process.
4. Mr. Pérez Cajilema, Deputy Secretary of Rail and Road Transportation, Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Ecuador informed WP.29 about the intention of his country to participate to the activities of the World Forum. He stated that his government had recently decided to undertake regulatory activities to increase vehicle safety on the basis of international regulations, including those developed by the World Forum. He, thus, indicated that his country would prioritize these initiatives, especially on passive and active safety. WP.29 welcomed the initiative and wished a fruitful collaboration in view of a possible accession to the Agreements under its responsibility.
5. Mr. Calleja-Crespo, Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission (EC), confirmed the commitment of the EC to contribute to the global and challenging tasks of the World Forum. He underlined the importance of the regulatory activities of WP.29 as a platform for gathering contributions from all countries worldwide, the automobile industry and many other stakeholders. He stated that a strong industry policy results in an enhanced competiveness and in a dynamic industry. He added that the industry, especially the automotive sector, had a strategic role to play to overcome crisis, by contributing to the economic growth and fostering employment. On the need for future mobility, he recalled the Cars 2020 strategy for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe based on the four pillars: innovative technologies, international cooperation, good skills and smart regulations. He added that in the latter one, WP.29 was at the centre of this strategy: providing worldwide harmonized regulations, integrating in a neutral way the technological development and better promoting the dialogue between countries and industry. He recognized the success of WP.29 through the past years, in anticipating regulatory needs such as regulations on Electric Vehicles as well as Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles. He underlined that future challenges would be of a higher complexity and that WP.29 is the proper forum to deliver a regulatory framework for technical solutions.
6. Mr. David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), addressed the World Forum. He acknowledged the sustained international collaboration of all members of WP.29 and AC.3 as well as the expertise of its subsidiary Working Parties in the global harmonization of vehicle regulations involving safety, fuel efficiency, and environmental protection. He emphasized his organization’s commitment to the World Forum. He underscored the role of WP.29 in the development of the new draft UN GTR on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles. Furthermore, he thanked both Germany and Japan for co-sponsoring the GTR with the United States of America as well as their industry for their contributions.
7. Closing his address, Mr. Strickland recognized the work done by the WP.29 secretariat and presented Mr. Ramos, Chief of the WP.29 secretariat, with a commemorative NHTSA award “in recognition of the outstanding contribution of the Secretariat of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to the advancement of global technical regulations for motor vehicle safety under the 1998 Global Agreement”. His presentation is reproduced in Annex I to this report. WP.29 representatives welcomed his remarks.
8. On behalf of the current and former members of the WP.29 secretariat, Mr. Ramos thanked Mr. Strickland for the appreciation and expressed the sustained commitment of the secretariat to serve the World Forum.