Thursday 24 February 2022

UIC participates in the PyeongChang Peace Forum economic session in South Korea: “Peace and prosperity through railways in the Eurasian corridor: What can be done to develop better railways after this pandemic era?”

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The 4th PyeongChang Peace Forum in South Korea was held on 23 February 2022 and focused on the future of railways in the Eurasian corridor.

During a session entitled “Peace and prosperity through the Eurasian corridor: What can be done to make railways attractive and safe during and after the coronavirus era?”, Heeseung Na, CEO KORAIL (Korean railways), said: “If inter-Korean relations improve, South Korea will be able to operate international trains from Seoul Station to Europe. The Seoul-Pyongyang-Beijing international train service between South and North Korea and China and the Seoul-Pyongyang-Moscow international train service between South and North Korea and Russia can be promoted. If inter-Korean railway traffic is opened as soon as possible to secure international mobility, the sustainability of inter-Korean cooperation can also be guaranteed. This will accelerate the restoration of the disconnected space on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and will serve as a starting point for the Korean Peninsula’s New Economic Initiative and the peace process. This is the future of the Korea Railroad Corporation where railways in the 21st century will change the world.”

UIC Director General François Davenne was kindly invited by KORAIL to participate in this panel. The session was dedicated to developing a better Eurasian corridor from the Korean peninsula to Europe. As a continuation of UIC’s collaboration and meetings with international partners in the region, not only railway experts but also global sustainability experts were invited, such as Attila Kiss, Secretary of the OSJD Committee.

Mr Davenne stressed the importance of the UIC vision 2030: “We have the tools to design a better future. It is in our hands to deliver, and the next decade will be crucial for the global fight against irreversible climate change. Rail is one of the most potent tools to bring peace and prosperity,” he explained. The pandemic era has come to end. Consequently, technical coordination with UIC is even more important to ensure that each stakeholder can take ownership and responsibility for paving the way towards the optimal development of the efficiency, accuracy and eco-mobility of railways, especially in the Eurasian corridor.

The session provided an opportunity to hear about the potential and challenges in the Eurasian corridor and to discuss the shared vision for a better future.

Mr Davenne emphasised that “we strongly need prosperity from peace, and railways can be a prosperity vector. Prosperity means a better economic situation from the Korean Peninsula to Europe, through Asia, that can be achieved by developing railways and achieving peace. Major existing routes start in the Korean Peninsula which potentially influence the impact of railways on prosperity”.

He also mentioned UIC studies and said “through major transit routes, existing and planned hubs, some experts have identified the necessary levers to improve railway efficiency, bringing prosperity thanks to the growth of railway logistics on Eurasian corridors from 2018 up to 2030. This will definitely have an impact on the Korean Peninsula, and beyond.”

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