Renato Mazzoncini succeeds Oleg Belozerov as UIC Chairman
7 December 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, European Railway Review
Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Italian Railways Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), has been elected UIC Chairman at the 89th General Assembly of UIC held in Saint Petersburg.
Renato Mazzoncini was unanimously elected International Union of Railways (UIC) Chairman succeeding Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD), for a two-year term, 2017-2018. Having chaired the UIC during two successive mandates from 2013 to 2016, Mr Belozerov becomes the new Chairman of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region.
The UIC General Assembly also unanimously elected Mr Isa Apaydin, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways TCDD and currently Chairman of the UIC Middle-East Region, as the new Vice Chairman of the worldwide railway association.
Mr Renato Mazzoncini, the newly elected UIC Chairman, addressed General Assembly Members: “First of all, I wish to pay tribute, both in my personal capacity and on behalf of the international railway community, to the significant and constructive role that Mr Oleg Belozerov has played since August 2015 when he was called to replace Mr Vladimir Yakunin, former Chairman of Russian Railways and also Chairman of UIC. Taking on such a role at international level in such challenging times demonstrates how Russian Railways have always been keen to develop the UIC values of unity, solidarity and universality. I would also like to recognise the role that East Japan Railways has played to restore, together with Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC’s credibility through difficult times. Please accept our gratitude Mr Seino in relation to that.”
“Huge investment programmes are under way or have been envisaged on rail at world level”
He continued: “Huge investment programmes are under way or have been envisaged on rail at world level. The European Union has been pursuing Trans European Transport Corridors for almost 20 years now and the recent launch of the Juncker plan might help fund technologies on rail; China has developed in the last 15 years an impressive high speed rail system with huge investments; the President-elect of USA is also proposing extensive investments in their country; India is on the verge of a new rail deal; all major world economies are considering developing new corridors comprising rail high speed, including Russia where long distances are much more challenging. In this context, UIC is called to play a substantial and significant role to collect and mutualise experiences as well as advise. Intercontinental corridors must remain a permanent subject for our association, the infrastructure department shall keep a permanent eye on rail and multimodal corridors, freight and passengers”.
“The railways need to collaborate with all public stakeholders to get better solutions for our customers”
Furthermore Mr Mazzoncini insisted on the importance of multimodality and cooperation with all partners involved in the mobility system: “Relying on the work that we are already developing to build a sustainable urban mobility, the railways need to collaborate with all public stakeholders to get better solutions for our customers. Four billion people out of the world’s seven billion live in big cities. These numbers give us the right indication where the railway community has more of a chance to tackle the fight against congestion, pollution and noise. I believe that UIC has to further develop this issue working at worldwide level with organisations such as the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and all organisations with competence for Transport and Mobility issues.”
“I particularly put my faith in the need for the eco-friendly railway to take its well-deserved place among the other transport modes”
Mr Isa Apaydin, new UIC Vice Chairman also addressed the UIC members: “Feeling honoured to be elected as the Vice Chairman of UIC, I will also welcome this great opportunity to work for the common interests of all railway family within the deep-rooted principles of UIC”.
He continued: “In the globalising world, by emphasising the vitality of sustainable railway policies and regional development and cooperation; the requirement for the interconnectivity and interoperability of the projects performed in each member country in terms of the effective utilisation of the international railway corridors; standardisation; investments in the field of railway research and development and the inevitability in mainstreaming digitalisation; I particularly put my faith in the need for the eco-friendly railway to take its well-deserved place among the other transport modes. In this scope, even though we have different system, the dialogues and knowledge and expertise exchanges within the UIC platform becomes more of an issue to take a step further in the world railway sector.”