United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Thematic session 3: Sustainable transport and connectivity, including rural areas and countries in special situations

Fri 15 Oct 2021, 7.00 am
Beijing, China (BJT: 7-8 pm CEST: 1-2 pm EDT: 7-8 am)






This session will be based on the central idea that sustainable transport enables connectivity—connecting people to jobs, services, and one another, as well as facilitating trade at all levels and linking countries to global markets. Sustainable transport is a building block of human wellbeing and economic growth, and the session will feature good practices and ongoing challenges in both of these dimensions of sustainable development, particularly in the rural context and for countries in special situations. Countries in special situations, namely Least Developed Countries (LDCs), small island developing States (SIDS), and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), as well as rural communities around the world, face myriad challenges as they pursue sustainable development, including geography, capacity, and economic constraints. A robust and accessible sustainable transport system is essential for them to overcome these challenges and to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.


  • H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenfang, Administrator of National Railway Administration, China
  • Mr. Courtenay Rattray, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States


  • Ms. Sheila Watson, Deputy Director, FIA Foundation


  • Mr. Danang Parikesit, Chairperson, International Forum for Rural Transport and Development
  • Mr. Omae Nyarandi, Executive Secretary, Northern Corridor, Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority
  • Ms. Christina Barstow, Chief Strategy Officer, Bridges to Prosperity, Bridges to Prosperity
  • Mr. Antonio H. Pinheiro Silveira, Corporate Vice President of Infrastructure, Development Bank of Latin America (CAF)  
  • Mr. Luo Guosan, Director-General, Infrastructure Development Department, National Development and Reform Commission, China

UN agencies:

  • Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization
  • Mr. Alex Marianelli, Director of Supply Chain, World Food Programme

Other stakeholders:

  • Mr. Ketan Kothari, Manager, Sightsavers
  • Mr. Yu Tengqun, Vice President, China Railway Group Ltd.