International Ministerial Conference ”Connecting by Inland Navigation”

The Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland and the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe kindly invites interesting parties and stakeholders to attend the International Ministerial Conference “Connecting by Inland Navigation” on April 18-19, 2018.  The International Ministerial Conference is aimed at increasing the focus of policy on fostering the role of inland water transport, encouraging countries to maximize the potential of inland waterways and addressing the challenges of sustainable development of mobility with reference to inland water transport. For this purpose, the Ministers will be invited to sign the Ministerial Declaration to endorse the objectives for the next period and propose strategic actions.

The Conference will serve as a forum for the exchange of experiences regarding the development and future of the inland navigation sector. Representatives from the international community will share current information on the role and growing importance of inland water transport in Europe and beyond.

The Conference will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, from 18 to 19 April 2018. At the conference, simultaneous interpretation in three languages: English, French and Russian will be provided.

Visit the website dedicated to the Conference and find out more about: registration, agenda, list of speakers, venue and logistics, etc., at:

Inland Water Transport (IWT) is a fundamental link in global and regional transport networks and the supply chain for a number of industries. Its importance is growing in a number of regions across the world and as such the international community needs to focus on its future.

The high-level conferences on inland water transport held in Europe over the past 30 years boosted the coordinated development of inland waterways, proposed harmonized action plans towards improving the role of inland water transport and laid down the foundations of new multimodal network of Pan-European transport corridors. They include:
– the Pan-European Ministerial Conference dedicated to Timely Issues of Inland Waterway Transport held on 11 September 1991 (Budapest);
– the Pan-European Conference on inland waterway transport held on 5 and 6 September 2001 in Rotterdam (Netherlands);
– the Pan-European Conference on inland waterway transport held on 13 and 14 September 2006 in Bucharest which was followed up by Resolution No. 258 “Supporting further development of inland water transport” adopted by ITC on 8 February 2007.

The UNECE White Paper on Efficient and Sustainable Inland Water Transport in Europe (2011) based on policy studies, ministerial declarations and input from European River Commissions and other international bodies specified seven priority areas of a Pan-European strategy for efficient and sustainable IWT in the UNECE region and proposed an international conference for countries with vested interest in inland navigation for responding effectively to new market requirements.

In the light of the Sustainable Development Agenda, the role of sustainable transport was emphasized in the Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference (Ashgabat, 26-27 November 2016).

This Conference will bring together countries with vested interest in inland navigation, River Commissions, European Commission, basin authorities, intergovernmental and non-governmental associations and other key stakeholders from around the world to discuss key matters, trends and challenges that are fundamental to the development of inland waterways across the world, set priorities and coordinate activities by means of a declaration to be signed by Ministers.

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