WP.29 World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations celebrates 70th Anniversary

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe organized a celebration event on 7 March 2023 at the opening of the 189th session of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, WP.29.

Opening statements were provided by the Director of the Sustainable Transport Division, Yuwei Li, and H.E. Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the UNECE, emphasizing the historic role of WP.29 Forum in the ECE region which had grown into a Global Forum. Mr. Jean Todt, United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety, had provided a video message emphasizing, among others, the importance of compliance with global technical regulations in all countries to improve safety and environmental performance.

Representatives from France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Sweden and Switzerland, which had also been in attendance at the first WP.29 session on 10 – 13 February 1953, highlighted, among others, the work done over the past 70 years along with recognizing the 65th Anniversary of the 1958 Agreement, signed on 20 March of the same year.

WP.29 Chairman Mr. Antonio Erario emphasized the importance of multilateral collaboration referring to the experience of the first Chairman of the World Forum from Italy. The recently elected Vice-Chairman Mr. Takashi Naono from Japan stated the continued growing interest in the activities of the Global Forum from countries in regions beyond Europe.

Among the present industry NGOs sharing their views, the IMMA Secretary General Mr. Edwin Bastiaensen stated: “the work of WP.29, and especially of the 1958 Agreement, accelerated the fitment of cutting-edge technologies for safety and environmental performance across a global marketplace” and recognized the UNECE’s work on motorcycle helmet safety. After the celebration session, during the proper 189/WP.29, two examples of such new cutting-edge technologies; the updates to UN Regulation No. 53 ‘Motorcycle Lighting’ and UN Regulation No. 78 ‘Motorcycle Braking, were adopted. These important regulatory updates will allow manufacturers to obtain type approval for motorcycles equipped with the advanced safety features Rear End Collision System (RECAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). 

About the World Forum WP.29

WP.29’s role and that of its Working Parties is to develop new UN Regulations, UN GTRs, or UN Rules, establishing a globally applicable legal framework for the certification and testing of vehicles within the areas covered by the three Vehicle Agreements.

The World Forum addresses the priorities of the Contracting Parties, e.g.: 

  • Active safety of vehicles and their parts (crash avoidance)
  • Passive safety of vehicles and their parts (crashworthiness)
  • Consideration on noise and tyres
  • Environmental considerations on pollutants and energy consumption
  • General safety considerations
  • Automated/autonomous and connected vehicles