ASTANA, 12 October 2009 - A conference to prepare for the 18th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum opened today in Astana with 170 participants discussing how to promote good governance at border crossings, improve land transportation security and facilitate international transport by road and rail.
The agenda includes discussions on international legal instruments and new technologies for efficient border crossing and customs procedures, efforts to battle corruption, the transit needs of landlocked developing countries and public-private partnerships in road transport as well as best practices in combating trafficking.
"Development and growth rely on trade, and trade needs cross-border transportation that is efficient and secure," said Goran Svilanovic, Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. "Therefore, renewed effort to remove the still existing non-physical barriers is necessary, and we encourage participants to identify priorities and formulate recommendations and requests for OSCE assistance in this regard."
Konstantin Zhigalov, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister, added: "Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE Chairmanship and its focus on transport open up new prospects for further development of Kazakhstan's transport system and its integration into the global transport networks. It also increases the capacity of OSCE participating States to co-operate in this field."
Azat Bekturov, Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, added: "Through the 2010 OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, we will consider proposals to develop trans-Eurasian transport corridors and create favourable conditions for reliable and safe transport connections on the continent."
The Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities is organizing the two-day conference in co-operation with Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry and its Ministry of Transport and Communications, with support of the OSCE Centre in Astana.
The 18th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum 2010 will be held in two parts - from 1 to 2 February in Vienna and from 24 to 26 May in Prague.