United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Distinguished Chair
Permit me to begin by thanking the Secretary General for the report
on this subject. However, we would like to highlight few issues.
The report does not consider the equity and the scale dimension in
transportation while emphasizing technological up-gradation to
reduce CO2 footprint and waste streams for sea transport. Marine
freight is of high significance to developing countries as it has a direct
bearing on their food and energy security, apart from its industrial
production impacts. A technologically sophisticated vessel entails
higher capital costs, which necessitates quoting higher freight rates.
While large modern vessels are able to command higher freight rates,
smaller vessels are not able to command freight rates on account of
their low capacity. This in turn impacts the end prices of merchandize
in developing countries that import food and fuel. As for the exports,
the higher the freight, the greater is the disguised tariff on export
commodities from developing countries and consequently the loss of
competitive advantage. To remove this anomaly, the small and
medium shipping companies from the developing world urgently need
sufficient technical and financial backing to carry out modernization.
We also have some concerns with the blanket assertion that
?intensified scrapping of older tonnage may pose further challenges
for safety, health and environmental conditions in major shipbreaking
nations ?. Rather, it needs to be emphasized that scrapping
must involve rigorous occupational safety standards and
environmental management plans.
We also need to be cautious about replicating programmes that have
worked well in specific circumstances. No one size fits all. It is true
that area licensing, road pricing and parking charge schemes, such as
those applied in Singapore, London and Paris, have proven effective
in terms of reduction of urban vehicular traffic. However, cities in
India have high density population in city centers and downtown
areas. This precludes area licensing, road pricing and parking charge
schemes from having positive impacts. In fact the socio-economic
consequences may be adverse if the Singapore/London scheme is
indiscriminately implemented. We believe that cities with high rate of
suburbanization can be successful with area licensing, road pricing
and parking charge schemes. But this may not be the suitable model
for most of the cities in the developing world. Our emphasis,
therefore, should be on mass rapid transport systems, non-motorized
transport and enhanced traffic management.
Thank you.