The 75th anniversary session of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) concluded at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) last 28 February after a week of forwarding progress in the fields of inland transport connectivity, road safety, accessibility, and sustainability.
The Inland Transport Committee, established in 1947, is the highest policy-making body of UNECE in the field of transport. During the course of the past 75 years, together with its subsidiary bodies, it has provided a unique intergovernmental forum where countries come together to forge tools for economic cooperation and adopt international legal instruments on inland transport.
Among the week’s accomplishments was a ministerial resolution on “Ushering in a decade of delivery for sustainable inland transport and sustainable development”, signed by 41 Ministers and Heads of Delegations at the end of the Ministerial session.
Speaking in the panel “Inland transport as a catalyst of sustainable mobility and sustainable development”, Mr Anouar Benazzouz, IRF Vice-President recalled that the history of IRF is deeply linked to the one of the ITC. The federation will be also celebrating 75 years of existence next year and ITC and the work of UNECE are some of the reasons that pushed IRF to move headquarters from the original Paris and London offices to Geneva. “It has been a 75-year enriching journey” said Benazzouz, “we thank UNECE for the trust, the open spirit, and the leadership which have been the distinctive mark of its work and of our successful collaboration” he added. “We look forward to celebrating jointly our anniversaries at the IRF World Congress which will be hosted in Istanbul, Turkey in 2024. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank his Excellency the Minister of Transport of Turkey – here present today – for his support” he concluded.
IRF Director General, Mrs Susanna Zammataro was among the distinguished speakers of the “Achieving a decade of delivery for Road Safety” panel of the Ministerial segment.
“The question being posed to this panel is how we can turn the second decade of action into a decade of delivery for Road Safety. The answer is simple: by truly working in synergy” she said. “The vaccines for our roads exist, they have been tested over the years, and they have proved their effectiveness. The road safety pandemic is a fight that we can win, that we must win, together” she added.
The global plan for the decade outlines a clear path for that, a path that certainly stresses the responsibility and the leadership to be shown by governments, but a path that recognizes also the importance of working together with the private sector, with civil society, and academia. In this respect, Mrs Zammataro made reference to the work done in collaboration with the TotalEnergies Foundation for setting up private sector road safety coalitions around the world. As an example of leadership in coordinating efforts, she also referred to the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative and the new working group on safe mobility that IRF is co-leading this year together with Michelin to help bridge the gap between policy and practice.
The ministerial resolution adopted at the end of the Ministerial segment expresses the commitment of member States to build on the progress made by the ITC over the past seven and a half decades in creating safer, more accessible, and sustainable inland transport, while also embracing new changing technology and the needs to address challenges like climate change and disruptions caused by the pandemic.