Jason R. Mack
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
February 16, 2022
The United States joins consensus on the revisions to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee terms of reference as outlined in Document E/2019/Add.2. However, we urge the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) to ensure UNECE does not promote one set of regional regulations and agreements over other relevant regulations and agreements.
Specifically, the ITC should take additional steps to ensure that UNECE does not simply promote European practices worldwide. A good example of a global approach can be found in the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29)’s Working Party on Automated/Autonomous Vehicles (GRVA). This body created a new leadership configuration that ensures delegates from Europe, Asia, and North America equally share responsibility for the activities and outcomes of the group. Documents are prepared in a manner that is neutral with respect to other relevant regulations and agreements. Parties to both the 1958 and 1998 Agreements use the common technical elements identified in these documents to draft their domestic regulations. This approach allows Contracting Parties to these agreements from different continents to directly manage GRVA’s activities and removes the prominence of any one region as the dominant force.
A truly global forum must look beyond any one region for creative ideas, listen to the needs of parties from various regions of the world, and promote advanced technologies and innovation regardless of geography to meet our longstanding goals of road and vehicle safety, environmental protection, and sustainability.