Session 170 | Geneva | 15-18 Nov 2016
Agenda Item Opening statements

2. The Chair of the World Forum welcomed the representatives to the World Forum and introduced the opening speakers: the two representatives of the EuroMed Road, Rail and Urban Transport (EuroMed) project a representative of of Israel; and a representative of Tunisia.

3. A representative of the EuroMed project introduced the project, the countries taking part and the activities carried out within its scope (reproduced in WP.29-170-34 and WP.29-170-35). He emphasized the relevance of numerous United Nations Agreements and Conventions in the field of inland transport for the EuroMed project and described the participating countries’ scope of accession to these legal instruments.

4. A representative of the EuroMed project highlighted the synergies between the work of WP.29 and activities undertaken in the EuroMed project. He presented the status of implementation of UN Vehicle Regulations in the countries participating in the EuroMed project.

5. In his statement, the representative of Israel highlighted that the State of Israel is participating in WP.29 meetings for the first time at this 170th session of the World Form, and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to take part. He stated that although Israel is not part of the 1958 and 1997 agreements the Israel’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) decided years ago to follow and implement European Union legislation on vehicle homologation, vehicle registration and periodic technical inspection. Israel permitted the import of vehicles built according to European Union legislation with an updated WVTA certificate and a valid COC. Israel’s MoT follows European Union legislation on periodic technical inspections.

6. He stated that a couple of years ago the Israeli Government decided to also allow the import of vehicles certified according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) of the United States of America. This had created some hurdles due to distinctions between the European and American standards (e.g. front lighting standards), resulting in the country experiencing difficulties on the implementation level.

7. The representative of Israel asserted that his country had closely followed the activities of the World Forum, including those in the development of autonomous vehicles. Smart technologies and systems for autonomous vehicles were already being developed in Israel. He emphasized the need for the development of a comprehensive regulatory framework within WP.29 and its Working Parties in order to promote autonomous vehicles.

8. He concluded his statement by expressing his commitment to strengthening cooperation between the Israel’s MoT and WP.29.

9. In his statement, the representative of Tunisia, described his country’s participation in the EuroMed Transport Project. He informed the World Forum that Tunisia was already Contracting Party to the 1958 and the 1998 Agreement. He concluded that Tunisia was preparing for the accession to the 1997 Agreement which would help to further develop their system on periodic technical inspection.

10. The Director of the UNECE Sustainable Transport Division welcomed the representatives to the World Forum. She praised the World Forum for its work and emphasized the importance of continuing and strengthening activities related to new and emerging technologies that are being embedded in vehicles, especially with regard to connectivity and automation of vehicles.

11. The Director updated the World Forum about the activities of the Sustainable Transport Division in preparation for the 70th anniversary session of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC), which will take place on 21-24 February 2017. The Division is preparing a draft Resolution for the Ministerial Meeting that will take place at the ITC on 21 February 2017. The objectives of the Resolution are to increase the visibility and understanding of the work of the ITC and its subsidiary bodies, and emphasize the global reach of United Nations Transport Conventions and Agreements developed in the work of the Committee, to promote broader accession to and implementation of these legal instruments thereby improving the governance of inland transport systems and inland transport safety the world over. The Resolution will invite the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) to propose to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) to introduce parallel reporting of ITC to the ECE and the ECOSOC on an annual basis. The parallel reporting will not have financial implications for United Nations Member States nor create any extra workload for the Division staff. The Division Director invited delegates of the World Forum to review the draft Resolution and urged them to support the proposal for dual reporting contained in it.

12. The Director informed the World Forum that the seventieth anniversary session of ITC will kick off with a keynote address followed by three parallel panels, including one on technology changes and what steps the ITC can take to improve and develop legislation in this context. The Director concluded her statement by inviting delegates of the World Forum to the ITC seventieth anniversary session.

WP.29-170-34 | EUROMED activities on UN Agreements concerning road vehicles
WP.29-170-35 | EU-funded EuroMed Road, Rail and Urban Transport Project