MINSK, 15 March 2010 - How the OSCE can help increase the security of land transportation, facilitate railway transport and promote environmentally sustainable transportation choices is the focus of a two-day OSCE meeting in Minsk that began today.
"With its membership of 56 participating States and its broad security mandate, the OSCE is well placed to identify and address political problems and contribute to the ongoing harmonization and standardization efforts in the field of transport and security," said Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov, speaking on behalf of the 2010 Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship.
The OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, said many challenges facing the transportation sector are security challenges.
"International terrorism and transnational organized crime pose serious threats to the transport sector - indeed, to our common stability and security," he told the 180 participants in the meeting, which is part of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum process.
Goran Svilanovic, the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, added: "Land-based transport is by many considered to be the weakest link in securing the international supply chain; at the same time it is considered a potential vehicle as well as a target for terrorist attacks. This is due to the lack of an intergovernmental body and regulatory framework dealing with land transport security in a comprehensive manner. This is where the OSCE could help out."
Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Voronetsky and Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Vladimir Dervenkov highlighted in their opening remarks that the topic was particularly important to Belarus, as the country is located at the crossroads of major transport routes.
The conference is organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities with the support of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry and the OSCE Office in Minsk.
The final part of the 18th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum 2010 will be held from 24 to 26 May in Prague.