Tariq Saeedi and Elvira Kadyrova
Ashgabat, 17 October 2016 (nCa) — Connectivity with responsibility is the concept Turkmenistan has undoubtedly decided to practice and promote, regionally and globally.
It is a concept the world needs to embrace if the sustainable development goals are to become a reality.
The parliament of Turkmenistan ratified Saturday (15 October 2016) three international instruments:
· Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports
· International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods
· Paris Agreement
Taken together, these three documents are at the heart of the approach of connectivity with responsibility.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports is a 2013 United Nations treaty aimed at promotion of cooperation of the development of dry ports in the Asia-Pacific region. Concluded under the auspices of the UNESCAP (UN economic and social commission for Asia and the Pacific), the agreement is open for ratification by all the UNESCAP members.
UNESCAP document ‘Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports’ (includes list of dry ports)
Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and Viet Nam have dry ports.
A dry port, also called an inland port, is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations. In addition to its role in cargo transshipment, a dry port may also include facilities for storage and consolidation of goods, maintenance for road or rail cargo carriers and customs clearance services. The availability of such facilities at a dry port eases pressure on the seaport itself.
A dry inland port can speed up the flow of cargo between ships and major land transportation networks, creating a more central distribution point. Inland ports can improve the movement of imports and exports, moving the time-consuming sorting and processing of containers inland, away from congested seaports. Even though a full Bill of Lading (BL) can only be issued once the cargo arrives at the seaport and is cleared for loading onto the ship, the dry port is a valuable contribution to reducing the bottlenecks in the international transportation network.
The road and rail cargo terminal at the Imamnazar, the border point where the TAT rail (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-
The Imamnazar dry port will easily multiply the usefulness of some dry ports in the region:
· Akina, Hairatan, Islam Qala, Shirkhan Bandara, Spinboldak-Chaman, and Turgundi in Afghanistan,
· At least 6 of the 17 dry ports in Azerbaijan
· At least 4 of the 17 dry ports in China
· Sarakhs and Zahidan dry ports of Iran
· Aktobe dry port of Kazakhstan
· Altanbulag and Ulaanbaatar dry ports of Mongolia
· Quetta dry port of Pakistan
· At least three of the 12 dry ports in Russia
· Dushanbe, Karamyk, Khujand, Kurgan-Tube, Nizhniy-Panj, Tursunzade and Vahdat dry ports of Tajikistan
· At least three of the 19 dry ports in Turkey
A very informative and interesting on the Intermodal Transport in ESCAP region, with sharp focus on Turkmenistan, was given by Madan Regmi of UNESCAP at a conference in Turkmenbashy city in December 2010.
The complete presentation, which has some original maps and illustrations, can be found here:
International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods is a 1982 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) treaty whereby states agree to co-operate in harmonizing and simplifying international border control. For goods in transit, the states that ratify the Convention agree to implement “simple and speedy treatment … by limiting their inspections to cases where these are warranted by the actual circumstances or risks”.
The Convention was developed by the Inland Transport Committee of the UNECE concluded at Geneva on 21 October 1982.
Text of INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE HARMONIZATION OF FRONTIER CONTROLS OF GOODS
If a dry port can be classified hard infrastructure in the transport-transit mix, the international convention on the harmonization of frontier controls of goods is truly the soft part of such infrastructure.
All of the infrastructure would be of little use if the cargo gets stuck at border points because of procedural blocks and customs holdups. The convention on harmonization of frontier controls is all about well-oiled connectivity.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.
The text of the Paris Agreement is available here: http://unfccc.int/resource/
Things don’t happen randomly in Turkmenistan. There is meticulous planning at every step. The fact that the two instruments related to transportation, and the Paris Agreement were ratified in the same session of the parliament sends a powerful message: connectivity must always come with responsibility. This planet is our home and as we connect with each other, we must protect the environment for the future generations.