26 February 2013
"Transport in Motion"
Opening remarks by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
“Transport in Motion”
Delivered on his behalf by Mr. David Chikvaidze, Chief Librarian
Palais des Nations, Bar Serpent
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 at 1 p.m.
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the opening of this photo exhibition, an initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and specifically, its Transport Division. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to both Mr. Alkalaj and Ms. Molnar of UNECE, as well as Mr. Flüglistaler and the Swiss Federal Office of Transport for making this event possible. Switzerland’s knowledge and practical expertise in this area has been a great asset to the international community and I thank our Host Country for this.
Transport provides an indispensible lifeline to society. It links markets and individuals, making regions more competitive and promoting individuals’ social and economic development. It also provides access to basic social services, such as health, food, education, employment and recreational activities. Many times we, in cities like Geneva, take our transportation system for granted. Excellent roads, safe, efficient public transport and an airport that connects us easily to the rest of the world. But many countries and regions do not share these advantages. Lack of access to transport infrastructure, pollution and other environmental threats, safety and security issues – these are all impediments to mobility and in turn, social and economic inclusion.
Ladies and gentlemen:
This exhibition highlights infrastructure achievements in their many shapes and forms. They are the result of enormous amounts of economic and human resources, and are clear indicators of local and national development. I applaud the hard work and many initiatives of UNECE in this area. It is through this work that the United Nations and its government, civil society and private sector partners may ensure sustainable transport that is safe, high-quality, and accessible to all.
Thank you very much.