IRF President addresses UNECE ITC High-Level Segment

IRF President addresses UNECE ITC High-Level Segment

The Inland Transport Committee (ITC) is the highest policy-making body of the UNECE in the field of transport. It held its 82nd session in Geneva. Bill Halkias, President of the International Road Federation addressed the High-Level Level Segment on the first day focusing his intervention on the key role of digital revolution.

The effects of climate change on transport — from compromised infrastructure to reduced access and connectivity, to poor road safety and beyond — are already being felt in every region of the world. Improving the environmental performance of transport, in addition to improving accessibility, efficiency and safety in inland transport systems, are of paramount importance to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

To address this challenge, the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) made the “Environmental challenges to sustainable inland transport” the focus of its high-level policy segment. Discussions covered adaptation measures to climate change, emissions mitigation and the role of the Committee to harness international cooperation to fight climate change.

Speaking in the panel “What role for transport innovations in addressing effectively environmental and climate challenges?”, IRF President, Bill Halkias focused on the key role of digital revolution (AI, big data, BIM, cloud computing and analytics, etc.) as a game-changer for the industry and a winning formula for solving the current infrastructure challenge and delivering a true circular economy.

At the end of the high-level segment, Transport Ministers and High-level officials from across the globe signed a declaration to make a united call for universal action to address the climate and environmental emergencies. 

The Declaration recognizes the Committee’s relevance as a main avenue of the international efforts to find solutions for these challenges and by calling upon world transport leaders to embrace and intensify their support for the work of the Committee as the UN Platform for Inland Transport, to the benefit of the global community.

During the reminder of ITC week, Member States/Contracting Parties and transport leaders from strategic partners forged common solutions, shared region and country-specific challenges from around the world in the implementation of existing, and the development of new, UN Conventions, and took strategic decisions on cutting-edge areas such as road safety, autonomous vehicles and transport digitalization.

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