The Executive Board and 89th General Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC) were held on 1 December in Saint Petersburg, at the invitation of JSC Russian Railways (RZD). The meetings were chaired by UIC Chairman Mr Oleg BELOZEROV, President of RZD, together with Mr Renato MAZZONCINI, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) and Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director General.
Mr BELOZEROV, who terminates his mandate after four years of successful UIC Chairmanship held by JSC Russian Railways, addressed UIC General Assembly Members. He said: “It is the only railway organisation without borders, and for almost a century it has proved that it fully meets the requirements of its members. In addition to expanding the geography of its members, UIC has experienced institutional growth – it has been elevated to special consultative status in the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which opens up extensive opportunities for fulfilling the interests of our members and for enabling them to undertake multilateral cooperation in United Nations arenas. The whole four-year period of the Russian Railways chairmanship of UIC has seen significant achievements through our joint efforts in terms of the goals and key strategies enshrined in the organisation’s programme of activity.”
He continued: “We have taken a major step forward in assessing the prospects for developing rail transport in the context of global trends in economics, production, trade and investment. We have drawn up concept plans for the medium-term and long-term development of rail transport for all six regional assemblies. This has brought us closer to our main aim – to create a unified global UIC strategy for the development of rail transport, the structure of which has been approved by all the regional assemblies.
Within the framework of this unified concept plan we need to work out practical approaches to address the challenges faced by all of UIC’s members and the global railway community.”
And: “We insist on the need to increase the role of rail transport in economic development, trade and sustainable mobility. In recent years the voice of UIC has been clearly heard within other international organisations, at international conferences and symposiums, and also in the drafting of foundational documents on transport policy. A striking example of this was UIC’s participation in major events such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, and the High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport.”
New UIC Governance for 2017-2018
The UIC General Assembly Members unanimously elected Mr Renato MAZZONCINI, CEO of Italian Railways Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS) as the new Chairman of UIC and successor of Mr Oleg BELOZEROV, President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD) who becomes the new Chairman of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region.
Mr Isa APAYDIN, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD), current Chairman of UIC Middle East Chairman, was unanimously elected new UIC Vice Chairman.
This new UIC Governance concerns the 2017-2018 term.
Please see UIC press release on UIC Governance N° 43, dated 1 December 2016 with details and biographies.
Technical Cooperation Agreement signed with ISO
During the General Assembly, several agreements were signed: among them, one with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), one with the International Federation of Culture and Leisure Associations of Railwaymen (FISAIC), one with the Union of Railway Constructors (SSZD) and last but not least, one with International Standards Organisation (ISO).
Dr ZHANG Xiaogang, President of ISO, gave a keynote speech just before to sign a Technical Cooperation Agreement with UIC, together with Mr LOUBINOUX.
Dr ZHANG said: “ISO and UIC have long collaborated together and many of your experts have effectively contributed to the work of ISO in areas supporting the rail sector and vice versa. I am very pleased to announce today that this relationship has just become stronger with the signing of a cooperation agreement. This agreement will help us to improve the way we work together in order to foster growth and innovation in the railway industry for years to come.”
He added: “This agreement specifically concerns our technical committee TC 269 on “Railway Applications”, which develops standards for systems, products and services directly related to the railway sector.
Under this new agreement our experts will form a strategic liaison group, where they will review areas of existing cooperation and identify work that might be similar in the future in order to minimise duplication.
UIC and ISO will also work together to identify new areas of mutual interest to ensure that, together, we can better anticipate the needs of this fast-moving industry.
Under this agreement, both organisations will be kept up-to-date regarding areas of common interest meaning helping us to use our resources more efficiently. In addition, we will investigate ways in which we can develop standards together more efficiently.”
Report of UIC Director General on the association’s activities
UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX reviewed the main significant achievements of UIC since the last General Assembly in Tokyo last July. He said: “This assembly offers us a double symbol; a symbol of density (a lot of fruitful meetings organised in Saint Petersburg) and a symbol of stability, after four years of Japanese chairmanship and four years of Russian chairmanship”.
He highlighted the high profile and global dimension of UIC, through the special status of UIC at the UN and he recalled the main achievements of UIC concerning fundamental railway values: Safety, security, innovation, sustainable development, standardisation, and transmission of knowledge. UIC’s core mission continues to be the development of UIC as a neutral technical platform of expertise recognised at world level. He emphasised as an example the work to define a global framework for traffic management and a communication system for railways of future generations FRMTS, as a global project.
He also underlined the recognition of UIC’s neutral expertise through developing relationships with development banks such as recently with the Asian Development Bank and in 2016 with the European Investment Bank.
In the technical field, one of the main results in 2016 is the finalisation of a number of International Railway Solutions IRS (20 IRS will be available at the end of this year), what demonstrates the role of UIC as a standard setting organisation (IRS are standardised processes).
Appointments in UIC working bodies and UIC HQ
The following appointments announced by the UIC Director General were confirmed:
Rail System Forum: Mr Francisco CARDOSO DOS REIS (IP) and Mr Andrew DOHERTY (Network Rail) as Co-Chairs of the UIC Rail System Forum for 2017-2018. They succeed Mr Luc LALLEMAND, CEO of Infrabel.
Digital Platform: Mr Evgeny CHARKIN (CIO RZD) and Mr Bjorn WESTERBERG (CEO ASTOC) as Co-Chairs of the UIC Digital Platform (if ASTOC confirms UIC Membership) for 2017-2018, to succeed Mr Yves TYRODE from SNCF.
Safety Platform: Mr Frédéric DELORME, Director General Safety at SNCF as UIC Safety Platform Chairman for 2017-2018, to succeed Mr Peter KLEINSCHUSTER from ÖBB.
International Railway Research Board IRRB: Mr Boris LAPIDUS (RZD) was renewed as IRRB Chairman for three years. Ms BROWN (ACRI), Mr ZURKOWSKI, Mr KANDEMIR, Prof. ROBINSON (University of Newcastle) were respectively appointed as vice-chairpersons of IRRB for a three-year mandate (2017-2019).
Appointments at UIC HQ: Mrs Sandra GEHENOT as Freight Director, Ms Marie PLAUD as Communications Director, Mr Paul VERON as Director, attached to the Director General, in charge of improving the interface with members and partners.
Presentations of accounts and budget for 2017 were approved.
For the first time, a three-year Business Plan 2017-2019 has been presented to the UIC General Assembly Members.
Reports from the Chairmen of the UIC Regions
During the Assembly, the main achievements attained by the UIC regions were presented by:
• Mr Said CHANDID, on behalf of Mr Mohamed KHLIE, Director General of ONCF, Chairman of UIC Africa Region
• Mr Satoshi SEINO, Chairman of JR East, as Chairman of UIC Asia-Pacific Region
• Mr Bernard GUILLELMON, President of BLS, as Chairman of UIC Europe
• Mr Isa APAYDIN, President of the board and Director General of TCDD, as Chairman of UIC Middle-East Region
• Mr Yves DESJARDINS-SICILIANO, President of VIA Rail Canada, Chairman of UIC North America Region.
New UIC Membership
The UIC General Assembly welcomed as new UIC Members:
African Region: Société Djiboutienne des Chemins de Fer (SDCF) Djibouti as affiliate member; Asia-Pacific Region: Southwest Jiaotong University as affiliate member; European Region: B-Logistics, Belgian freight operator as active member; Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB) UK, as affiliate member; ASTOC, Association of Swedish Operating Companies, as active member (letter of intent); Latin American region: ADIFSE, Infrastructure Manager from Argentina as associate member; North America: Railway Association of Canada (RAC) as affiliate member.