Under the auspices of the Lebanese Minister of Transport and Public Works Najib Mikati, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is organizing a seminar on Capacity Building in Transport and Trade Facilitation from December 3 to 4, 2003 at the Bristol Hotel of Beirut.
The seminar is organized with the support of the International Chamber of Shipping in Beirut. The meeting is intended to discuss an action plan for the implementation of the Agreement on International Roads in the Arab Mashreq that was unanimously adopted by ESCWA member countries in 2001 and entered into force in 2003.
The proposed action plan includes launching of a media campaign concerning the agreement, the development of a database for the technical characteristics of the international roads included in the agreement, as well as the development by member countries of national action plans for the construction and upgrading of international roads included in the Agreement and in their respective territories.
The meeting will also review and discuss a proposed Memorandum of Understanding on maritime transport cooperation between ESCWA member states. The memorandum covers cooperation in the development of national fleets of Member States, shipping services, coastal shipping between ESCWA Member States, maritime legislation, international and regional maritime conventions and agreements, seaports, ship registration, and insurance.
The establishment and the vitalization of national transport and trade facilitation committees (NTTFC) in ESCWA member countries will be also a subject for discussion during the meeting. The purpose of the national committees is to create a framework for regular dialogue among all parties involved in international trade and transport and between government agencies and the private sector, in particular, with a view to simplify, harmonize, standardize and automate international trade and transport operations and logistics in the ESCWA region.
The seminar on Capacity Building in Transport and Trade Facilitation is expected to formulate recommendations addressed to ESCWA Member State governments, the private sector and the ESCWA Transport Committee and Secretariat on how best to tackle the many challenging transport and trade facilitation issues facing the region and reduce the barriers to a mutually beneficial integration both within the region and with the world community at large.
Attending the meeting will be experts from ESCWA member countries and representatives of the entities entrusted with transport, trade and customs from public and private sector including ministries, agencies, syndicates, organizations, companies, research institutions, universities and chambers of commerce and shipping in addition to representatives from the League of Arab States, the Arab Academy of Science and Technology and Maritime Transport, the Arab Union for Land Transport, the Federation of Arab Marine Carriers, as well as the Federation of Arab Chambers of Shipping. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )