The United Nations seeks to build momentum on recent advances in climate change and the sustainable development agenda by convening the first ever UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The two-day conference, which opens Saturday, will bring together senior representatives of more than 80 countries, as well as civil society and the business community.
Each year, the transportation sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. This in turn leads to millions of premature deaths from air pollution. Moreover, road accidents kill more than 1.24 million people and 90 percent of the fatalities are in developing countries.
"Sustainable transport, on the other hand, helps create the infrastructure on which we can build a sustainable future", UN Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, who is also the Secretary-General of the Conference, told the opening news conference in the Turkmen capital.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will address the Conference on Saturday, hopes that countries will form partnerships and make commitments on initiatives to set a new direction in global transport that will help implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
All modes of transport will be discussed and key themes include rural and urban transport, road safety, financing and the links of sustainable transport to climate change and energy.
Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are among the western countries in attendance, as well as representatives of the European Union.
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