IRF President meets key partners in Geneva

IRF President Mr Bill Halkias was in Geneva early September for a series of meetings. These included a meeting with Mr Jean Todt, President of FIA and UN Special Envoy for Road Safety and Mr Yuwei Li, Director Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Mr Todt expressed satisfaction for the excellent collaboration between IRF and FIA. Few years ago, the two organisations have each one become a member of the other’s Federation in order to provide more structure and continuity to their collaboration. Mr Todt recalled also the challenges the sector has vis-à-vis road safety, the work being done with the FIA High Level Panel – of which IRF is an Advisory Board Member – and the upcoming Road Safety Ministerial in Sweden. Mr Halkias shared with Mr Todt the latest on IRF activities and also the experience of motorway concessionaires when it comes to road safety. Mr Halkias stressed the need to work very closely with local communities and stakeholders and expressed willingness to work more closely with FIA clubs around the world.

Meeting with Mr Yuwei Li, Director Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Mr Halkias expressed his satisfaction for this 70-year collaboration between IRF and UNECE. UNECE was established in 1947 with the mandate to help rebuild post-war Europe, develop economic activity and strengthen economic relations between European countries, and between Europe and the rest of the world. It’s creation and the relevance of its work was also the reason that brought IRF to move to Geneva. Mr Li and Mr Halkias discussed the importance of the International Conventions administered by UNECE and recent developments in the transport sector. Mr Li thanked Mr Halkias for the active involvement of IRF in UNECE committees and working groups.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of five United Nations regional commissions, administered by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The UNECE Sustainable Transport Division works to facilitate the international movement of persons and goods by inland transport modes. It aims to improve competitiveness, safety, energy efficiency and security in the transport sector. At the same time, it focuses on reducing the adverse effects of transport activities on the environment and contributing effectively to sustainable development. It is a centre for multilateral transport standards and agreements in Europe and beyond, e.g. regulations for dangerous goods transport and road vehicle construction at the global level.