Zambia needs increased international cooperation to achieve sustainable transportation at national and regional level, says Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim Christine Kalamwina.

According to a statement issued by Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations first secretary for press and public relations Chibaula Silwamba, Kalamwina said this during a World Bank briefing on Sustainable Mobility for all Initiative in New York yesterday.

Kalamwina said there was need to build momentum and synergies on the importance of sustainable transportation to complement national and regional efforts through improved cooperation.

She assured the World Bank of Zambia’s support and cooperation in promoting sustainable mobility and implementing the goals and targets towards achieving sustainable transport at all levels.

“Zambia as Chair of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries do recognize the importance of Sustainable Transport. Zambia and all other LLDCs face special challenges that are associated with the lack of direct territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from world markets. Due to geographical position, the LLDCs’ international trade is dependent on transiting through other countries, with substantially increased expenses for transport and other transaction costs as a result of the additional border crossings and long inland distances,” Kalamwina said.

She said landlocked countries’ geographical position reduced their competitiveness and negatively affected their development.

“Improvement of transport systems as well as physical infrastructure in the LLDCs and transit countries to allow smooth transit connectivity of the LLDCs to the seaports is therefore important,” she said.

“Enhanced bilateral and regional cooperation is important to allow for joint soft infrastructure programmes, harmonisation of policies and shared legal framework between the LLDCs and their transit countries.”

She said sustainable transport was indispensable and very important to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Vienna Programme of Action.

Kalamwina called for multilateral cooperation to strengthen regional projects through increased financing and a deliberate focus on strategic regional tailored solutions to assist in the preparation and implementation of regional projects.

“Zambia has heavily invested in road, rail, air and water transportation. Some of the projects includes implementation of the Link Zambia 8000 Road Project aimed at connecting all districts by road and onwards to the neighbouring countries,” said Kalamwina.

“Link Zambia 8000 Road project has significantly transformed the country into a land-linked country with a good network to all our eight neighbouring countries. The aim is to ensure that Zambia becomes the preferred transit point in the region in line with our Vision 2030 Development Agenda.”