June 13, 2013
Echoing LAS Council of Arab Transport Ministers' call on Arab State authorities to ensure the sustainable development and increased efficiency of road transport as the main contributors to economic growth in the region, the IDB-IRU-AULT joint project recommends to implement the TIR and Harmonization Conventions, to scientifically study the main causes of truck accidents and develop professional training in the Arab world.
Amman - At the 7th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference, the IRU, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Arab Union of Land Transport (AULT) unveiled the results of their 18-month joint project, aimed at achieving more trade and profitability, safer roads and faster border control procedures to help the economic integration of the Arab world at regional and global level.
"In 2010, the LAS Council of Arab Transport Ministers called on the authorities of all Arab States to take the necessary measures for the increased efficiency of their national road transport industries, greater professionalism within the sector and enhanced road safety. They have reiterated their call in 2011, as they had recognised road transport's central role as a driver of economic growth. The IRU has therefore responded to this call by implementing the IDB Technical Assistance Grant to AULT", IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, explained.
To pursue these objectives, the project revolved around three main components:
the development of professional training by transferring the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver IRU Academy training programmes for the transport of dangerous goods (ADR) and Manager's professional competence (CPC Manager);
a Truck Accident Causation Feasibility Study for the League of Arab States (LAS), which once completed, will help identify government and industry actions necessary to effectively address the main causes of road accidents ; and
the implementation of a road transport facilitation strategy, supported by field data on the actual condition of international road transport in LAS Member States (NELTI-4) to examine status of key UN facilitation instruments, identify their benefits for LAS Member States, and provide an action plan and technical assistance to facilitate their implementation.
Pilot training projects, national workshops, field data collection and scientific analyses, which covered 7 LAS Member States* over 18 months, conclude that arising opportunities of tremendous growth opened by the Greater Arab Free Trade Area of 367 mil. consumers, can only be supported by efficient, reliable and professional road transport services, including in port hinterlands, interconnecting every business and every transport mode in the region and to every major world market.
To achieve this, an appropriate legal framework to effectively facilitate road transport, both cross-border and in transit, is a prerequisite, as well as the removal of non-physical barriers, such as non-harmonised and burdensome customs procedures formalities. The development of manager and driver professional training at the international standards was also identifies as key to effectively increase the industry's efficiency and safety.
The action plan therefore recommends in priority to: implement key UN facilitation instruments, and notably TIR and Harmonization Conventions; Implementing the Model Highway Initiative principles to facilitate road transport and develop roadside infrastructure; Develop ro-ro transport; Conduct a full-fledged truck accident causation study in the Arab world; and develop training centres as well as examination capacities in cooperation with the IRU Academy and AULT.
*Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates