World Sustainable Transport Day is celebrated for the first in 2023, following the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly during its 77th session. The observance recognizes the important role of safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all in supporting sustainable economic growth, improving the social welfare of people and enhancing international cooperation and trade among countries.
About World Sustainable Transport Day
Recognizing the important role of safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all in supporting sustainable economic growth, improving the social welfare of people and enhancing international cooperation and trade among countries, the General Assembly decided to declare 26 November as World Sustainable Transport Day.
It also noted the importance of cooperation in enhancing transport connectivity through an integrated intermodal transport system by developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, exchanging best practices to optimize the development of interconnected highways, roads, streets, railways, waterways, airways, areas of modal transfer and ports, and by encouraging transport infrastructure construction and operations to minimize consumption of energy, land and other resources; generate lower emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances and other pollutants and ensure a positive social impact.
The Assembly invited stakeholders to mark World Sustainable Transport Day by means of education and the holding of events aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the public on sustainable transport issues, in particular enhancing intermodal transport connectivity, promoting environmentally friendly transportation, developing socially inclusive transport infrastructure and other aspects of transport sustainability.
Transport is vital for promoting connectivity, trade, economic growth and employment. Yet it is also implicated as a significant source of green-house gas emissions. Resolving these trade-offs is essential to achieving sustainable transport and, through that, sustainable development.
In its 2016 report, the Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group defined sustainable transport as “the provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods — advancing economic and social development to benefit today’s and future generations — in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while minimizing carbon and other emissions and environmental impacts.”
Sustainable transport is therefore not an end in itself, but a means to achieve sustainable development.
Sustainable transport — with its objectives of universal access, enhanced safety, reduced environmental and climate impact, improved resilience, and greater efficiency — is central to sustainable development.
Apart from providing services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods, sustainable transport is a cross-cutting accelerator, that can fast-track progress towards other crucial goals, such as eradicating poverty in all its dimensions, reducing inequality, empowering women, and combatting climate change.
Find out more about sustainable transport and sustainable development in this interagency report.