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    • ECO Holds Ministerial Meeting on Transport
      ECO Holds Ministerial Meeting on Transport
      The ECO Ministerial Meeting on Transport was held virtually on December 15, 2020 to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s transport sector and the ways and means to address the stressed socio-economic conditions.

      In his inaugural remarks, the ECO Secretary General Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour welcomed the participants, underscoring the need to be more cooperative and interactive for countering the adverse effects of Coronavirus on region’s transport sector. Noting the sluggish trade and transport activities on ECO Border Crossing Points (BCPs) in view of the post-pandemic’s preemptive measures, he looked forward to a collective response as to ensure an unhindered passage of essentially required supplies of goods in the region, including food and medicines. In this regard, the Secretary General requested the endorsement of the Guidelines by honorable ministers. The ECO Guidelines on Cross Border Facilitation Measures have been approved by the 247th Meeting of the ECO Council of Permanent Representatives (CPR), the Secretary General recalled.

      Connectedly, Dr. Soleimanpour sought the consideration of the Ministers for implementation of the framed guidelines, as well as creation of ‘TIR EPD green lanes’ along the region’s main transport routes for an expeditious movement of goods on the BCPs. While referring to the need for implementation of ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA), he further conveyed the latest status and future planings for other ECO arrangements on different modes of transport, including railways, roads, maritime and civil aviation.

      The Chair of the event and Minister for Road and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Eslami, appreciated the Member States for their cooperative role to maintain and facilitate the regional trade and transport activities on region’s BCPs.

      Other participating Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Member States also spoke to maximize their cooperation, especially in the COVID’s crunch, to meet the emerging regional challenges. The meeting, while acknowledging the severity of the crisis and meet the region’s immediate needs and requirements, adopted the recommended ECO Guidelines, as well as a 2020 Ministerial Declaration on transport which was considered by the relevant High Level Working Group’s meeting on December 8, 2020. The Declaration requested Member States to fully implement the ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA), and fulfill their commitments as per TTFA provisions. The Document appreciates Member States for their constructive role during COVID-19 pandemic by keeping their borders open and facilitating transport and trade in the region, congratulating the Member States on the successful Test Run of the loaded trucks under TIR in KTAI Road Corridor during July –August 2020. It further tasks the ECO Secretariat to initiate new projects on Railway, Maritime and Civil Aviation cooperation in 2021.

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