The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport lauds the global community for adopting the historic Agenda 2030 at the Sustainable Development Summit currently taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
With more than 150 heads of state and government in attendance, the summit is ushering in a new era in development, one that considers social, economic and environmental dimensions as elements of a coherent whole, working for the good of people and planet, with poverty eradication at the core. The new Agenda, built around 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were elaborated in a three–year–long transparent, participatory process, will chart a course for the sustainable development of the world for the next 15 years.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is built on the pledge to ‘leave no one behind,’ and sustainable transportation is absolutely essential to make sure this pledge is fulfilled,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. “Transport sits at the intersection of many SDGs—on health, sustainable cities, climate, economic growth—and with its expertise the Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group can lead the way to innovative solutions addressing these integrated issues.”
A recent assessment of the SDGs commissioned by the High-level Advisory Group found that sustainable transport will be central to the implementation of many of the SDGs: transport makes cities liveable and functional, connects rural women and men to markets, brings people to their jobs, and enables global trade and economic growth. SDG 11 on sustainable cities calls for increased access to safe, affordable and sustainable public transportation; and SDG 3 on health includes a target on enhanced road safety. In addition to these explicit targets, sustainable transport is also essential to many other SDGs, including on women’s empowerment (SDG 5), economic growth (SDG 8), resilient infrastructure (SDG 9), and climate change (SDG 13). The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development also stressed the role of transport, calling for investments to bridge infrastructure gaps, including in transport.
“Investing in sustainable transport is one of the most effective and powerful tools we have today to advance towards more inclusive societies,” expressed Santiago Mayor Carolina Toha, co-chair of the High-Level Advisory Group. “Public transport is used by most people in the world and is particularly important in fast-growing cities in the developing world. We have an historic opportunity to facilitate adequate policies that will avoid unsustainable practices as cities grow, strengthening better services and incentivising the use of clean means of transport.”
The High-Level Advisory Group will next meet in Paris in December 2015, on the margins of COP 21. The Group will discuss strategies for increasing the positive impact of sustainable transport measures on climate change mitigation.
The High-Level Advisory Group was established in 2014 with a three year mandate to develop policy recommendations and to encourage multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance sustainable transport at the local, national, regional and global levels. The Group represents all sectors and modes of transport.
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