United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General's message to the 7th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia

I send warm greetings to the participants in this important forum on sustainable transport. I extend sincere appreciation to the Governments of Indonesia and Japan for their initiative and generosity.

Transport is a key building block for sustainable development. Access to goods and services through efficient means of transport and connectivity is essential for poverty reduction. Ensuring better market access for rural communities through improved transport services enhances farmer’s lives and sustainable livelihoods.

In both urban and rural areas, better land-use and transport system planning makes a great difference in facilitating access to jobs, goods and services for men and women alike. It also helps improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. On a global scale it is essential that we better design and build transport infrastructure to make it safer and more environmentally friendly, and to minimize vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

I am therefore pleased that this forum will discuss next-generation transport systems for the 21st century. The significant financial commitments for sustainable transport made by multilateral development banks at last year’s Rio+20 conference can help us to realize those aspirations.

I also welcome your ideas and suggestions as the United Nations seeks to define a transformative post-2015 development agenda. Global consultations are under way among Governments, civil society, the private sector and others, and I encourage you to make your voices heard.

I share your commitment to sustainable transport and look forward to the outcome of your deliberations. Please accept my best wishes for a productive forum.

Terlma Kasih (Thank you in Indonesian)