Wednesday 20 December 2023

UIC Members attend the 103rd General Assembly

A year of progress in terms of accountability and recognising UIC’s added value

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UIC held its Executive Board and 103rd General Assembly on 14 and 15 December 2023 respectively. Both took place in a hybrid format, with around one hundred members present at UIC Headquarters with other members joining online. The meetings were chaired by UIC Chair Krzysztof Mamiński and UIC Director-General François Davenne.

Report from the UIC Chair

Mamiński began by underlining that 2023 had been the first year of implementing the new 2023-2025 work programme.

He stated: “Promoting rail is increasingly linked to the sustainable development agenda. Rail must play a leading role in decarbonising the transport sector, both globally and regionally. For this to happen, the rail community must step up its efforts to further promote the advantages of rail in public discourse, and to make it more attractive and competitive in the eyes of current and potential users, as well as to all decision-makers. UIC seeks to play a clear role in the transport initiatives under development at climate conferences and other key events. We are recognised as a key partner and have also been successful in promoting the fact that decarbonising the transport sector requires a modal shift in our favour.

He underpinned the year’s highlights, region by region, against a backdrop of robust global governance and stable membership numbers. He concluded by saying: “Despite the external crises in recent years, UIC has remained stable, achieved its strategic objectives, and continued to strengthen its role on the international stage. Given this year’s achievements, I firmly believe that UIC is ideally positioned to meet the challenges ahead in 2024 and contribute to the sustainable growth of the rail sector worldwide.

Report from the UIC Director-General

Davenne outlined how UIC has developed its accountability as well as continuing to expand its policy of influence. Preparations for COP28 in Dubai enabled UIC to communicate the “More Trains” campaign messages. He also stressed that UIC has worked hard to improve its transparency in terms of finance and projects, with a new budget presentation and financial reporting methodology being developed. In addition, the 2023 budget was balanced, and the project trajectory was met.

He also provided UIC members with information on the added value provided by UIC:

  • The framework agreement signed with ERA (European Union Agency for Railways) in December 2021 to permit concrete technical coordination.
  • UIC involvement in crucial tasks of the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU) System and Innovation pillars, including system architecture, 5G, operational rules, and cross cutting activities.
  • FRMCS (the Future Railway Mobile Communication System) will have a market-ready version (V3) by 2026, provided that UIC members remain committed to obtaining funding from ERJU for the MORANE 2 test programme.
  • UIC is delivering value with OSDM (Open Sales & Distribution Model). UIC is working closely with the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) to demonstrate that the rail sector is proactive and has something to offer.

These aspects illustrate that UIC is the right place for members to work together to achieve important technical developments and that UIC is the right network with the right partnerships.

Thirdly, he focused on regional empowerment and strengthening regional outreach:

  • The standardisation and specification process is a comprehensive strategy for regional adaption and monitoring, which will be implemented in the UIC regions where interest in having a set of operational standards and specifications is growing.
  • The new finance platform work programme, which aims to increase UIC’s capacity to offer financial solutions to increase the availability of capital for railways.


Sustainability remains a key priority. Together with Alstom, the University of Birmingham, and Roland Berger, UIC has released a study entitled “Bridging the rail finance gap” with a contribution from the World Bank. UIC has also prepared a rail analysis report regarding each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions, exploring the various benefits of integrating rail into NDCs and the crucial role it plays in supporting sustainable, low-carbon transport systems.

Research and Innovation

Sanjiv Bhutani (RDSO, Indian Railways), Chair of IRRB (International Railway Research Board), presented the main achievements in 2023 and announced that 6 Regional Competence Hubs for Research and Innovation will be realised by the next World Congress of Rail Research (WCRR 2025).

Relationships with third parties

The European Cyclists Federation (ECF) and UIC, which both wish to promote a seamlessly connected door-to-door, multimodal, sustainable, and active transport system, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 1 December 2023.

Other items

The General Assembly approved the budget 2024.

In terms of quality performance, the AFNOR certification was renewed.

The General Assembly approved the membership of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) from South Africa as an affiliate member, Kenya Railways (KRC) as associate member, the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) of Colombia as affiliate member, and the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) from the UK as affiliate member.

The next GA, the 104th UIC General Assembly will be held on 3 July 2024.

For more information, please contact the UIC Communications teams at

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