Train in Thailand.

ASIA: A ceremony in Bangkok on June 11 marked the entry into force of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network.

Drawn up under the auspices of the United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific, the agreement aims to facilitate a co-ordinated regional approach to the development of around 114 000 km of rail routes across 28 countries. The routes were designated for their international importance for the movement of goods and passengers within Asia and for trade with Europe.

The treaty came into force 90 days after China became the eighth country to ratify, following Cambodia, India, Mongolia, South Korea, Russia, Tajikistan and Thailand. It is the second treaty developed under the auspices of UNESCAP, following from a similar agreement covering roads which entered into force in July 2005.