ESCAP plans to establish International Road Organisation

Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) With an aim to provide effective and comprehensive solution to challenges faced by the road sector, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asian and the Pacific (ESCAP) has planned to establish an International Road Organisation (IRO), an official said.

“Stronger intergovernmental support is needed to help the road sector develop sustainably. And yet there is no intergovernmental organisation to recommend common standards and rules, ensure its safe operation and promote its sustainable development through coordinated policy and regulatory frameworks.

“We plan to set up an International Road Organisation,” Sandeep Raj Jain, Economic Affairs Officer in Transport Facilitation and Logistics Section of UN ESCAP, told IANS.

According to a synopsis from ESCAP, road transport consumes 77 per cent of the energy used within the transport sector and produces 75 per cent of total CO2 emissions of the sector.

If the current trend continues, the road sector is expected to increase its energy consumption by 29 per cent from 2015 to 2030 and 64 per cent by 2050, the report said.

Globally 1.25 million people died from road traffic injuries and another 20-50 million more people suffered from non-fatal road traffic injuries.

Current trend shows a miss of the SDG-3 (Sustainable Development Goal-3) target to halve road deaths and injuries by year 2020 the brief report said.

Jain said there has been a lack of intergovernmental leadership on development of intelligent transport systems (ITS) which has raised issues of effective regulations and policies for interoperability, and technical and service harmonisation.

Based on the most conservative estimates, the Organisation can help countries save lives of 184,000 people per year and $ 290 billion a year if it can contribute 10-20 per cent of reduction in road crashes, emissions and air pollutions, the report added.