Expert Group Meeting on the ESCWA-ECE-ESCAP Project Component
30 May-01 June 2005 ,
The project “Capacity building through cooperation in developing inter-regional land and land-sea transport linkages” was approved by the UN General Assembly in December 2001, and is jointly executed by the five UN regional commissions over a five-year period 2002-2006 with a total budget of US$1.25 million. ESCWA has been designated by the five regional commissions to be the coordinator of the project.
The objective of this project is to assist member countries of the five UN regional commissions in strengthening their national capacities for developing interregional land and land-sea transport linkages and to promote interregional cooperation to facilitate interregional trade and tourism. The implementation of the project should result in enabling the countries to identify potential interregional transport linkages, strengthen national capacities with regards to identification of the physical and non-physical impediments to the movement of goods and passengers in all its stages, and operationalizing an interregional network of transport linkages. In addition the project will provide advisory services for interested member countries and establish e-mail contacts among the concerned institutions.
Within this overall framework ESCWA, ECE and ESCAP are implementing jointly a project component, which focuses specifically on developing interregional transport linkages connecting ECE and ESCAP to the ESCWA region. These ýinterregional linkages will then be connected to Africa through the ESCWA region.
National experts from concerned members of the regions have prepared studies/ reports that provided information related to existing road infrastructure, railways lines and border crossing formalities. Each regional commission has identified countries, which collectively make up the central part of the ESCWA, ECE and ESCAP project component. For the respective commissions, these countries are:
ESCWA: Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Palestine (OPT) and Egypt.
ESCAP: Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan.
The national experts have identified within their respective countries those routes (roads, railways, and land-sea routes) that have the prospect of serving as part of the interregional linkages connecting ECE and ESCAP to the ESCWA region. Their ýtechnical specifications, operating conditions and other characteristics in general were prepared. Based on these reports the services of regional consultants were retained. The suggestions regarding the potential interregional linkages were prepared from the point of view of the three concerned regional commissions, and the results of these proposals will be presented in this meeting.
B. Major themes of the meeting
The overall objective of this meeting is to conduct consultations among the officials of the concerned countries about the identified interregional transport linkages in order to reach a mutual agreement and approval for such. The meeting will benefit from the national and regional reports that were prepared for this project in each of the three regions.
Specifically the meeting will thrive to tackle the following issues:
1. The transport linkages connecting ECE and ESCAP to the ESCWA region from the point of view of relevant ESCWA, ECE and ESCAP studies and reports (including alternate land and land-sea routes other than those currently used).
2. The meeting will consider the alternate proposals and thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed linkage in order to reach a consensus regarding the major interregional road, rail and combined transport routes.
3. The meeting will agree on the common data and information that should be collected on these major routes that should be adopted; and later prepare detailed graphical representation for such.
4. The meeting will address improvements to existing border crossing procedures and formalities based on the regional report findings.
5. Based on the deliberations, the meeting will discuss follow-up actions for the secretariats and countries to undertake.
This meeting is intended primarily to be attended by the focal points of the project that were officially nominated by their respective countries in ESCWA, ECE and ESCAP regions. Other transport officials from both the public and the private sectors will also be invited, as well as regional and national consultants from the three regions. The meeting will also invite international funding institutions and agencies.
D. Papers and interventions
The meeting will discuss the papers prepared by each regional commission on the proposed linkages.
• Transport linkages within the ESCWA region (ESCWA)
• Transport linkages between ESCWA and Europe (Two papers will presented by ESCWA and ECE)
• Transport linkages between ESCWA and Asia (Two papers will presented by ESCWA and ESCAP)
In addition, ECE and ESCAP will present the results of the ongoing project on Developing Euro-Asian Transport Linkages, which is also being implemented as part of the project “Capacity building through cooperation in developing inter-regional land and land-sea transport linkages”.
The meeting will give due consideration to the possible interconnections between the major interregional routes identified in the framework of the current ESCWA, ECE and ESCAP project component and those adopted under the ECE-ESCAP Euro-Asian transport linkages project.
Formulation of proposals for adopting the major interregional linkages/ routes connecting ECE and ESCAP to the ESCWA region will be a major output of the meeting. Detailed maps containing the proposed linkages (from all modes of transport) shall be produced.
Contributions would be in either Arabic or English. Simultaneous translation, from Arabic to English and vice versa, will be provided during the sessions.
G. Date and Venue
The Conference will be held from the 30th of May till the 1st of June 2005, at the conference room of the Radisson SAS Hotel, Al-Hussein Bin Ali Street, Amman, 11118, Jordan. Telephone: + 9626 560 7100; Fax: + 9626 566 51 60.
H. Accommodation and transportation
It is recommended that participants stay in the same hotel as the Meeting Venue, the Radisson SAS Hotel, (address above). The contact person at the hotel is Mr. Shukri Ammouri, Deputy Director of sales; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants in this meeting will be given the following rates for the period 29 May – 2 June 2005: Jordanian Dinar (JOD) 43.00 (about US$ 62) inclusive of taxes per single room per night with buffet breakfast; JOD 48.50 (about US$ 70) inclusive of taxes per double room per night with buffet breakfast. If you are booking directly, please inform the hotel that you are participating in the meeting to get the above rates.
The Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, is located 32 km from the city center. Participants are asked to make their own transport arrangements to and from the airport. Airport Taxi is available at the exit at a cost of about US$20 to the hotel. The hotel also offers a pick-up and drop-off service for JOD 24.00 (about US$ 35) for airport pickup and JOD 20.00 (about US$30) for drop off to airport. Please send a fax or email to the hotel directly, indicating flight number and arrival times.
Any inquiries and requests for additional information should be addressed to:
Ms. Thouka Al- Kahlidi, Chief
Globalization and Regional Integration Division, ESCWA
Mr. Nabil Safwat
Team Leader, Transport
Globalization and Regional Integration Division, ESCWA
And Project Coordinator
P.O. Box 11-8575