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Press Release

Ireland’s Presidency of the International Transport Forum 2019/2020

Published: 5 November 2019
From: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

The International Transport Forum (ITF) is in Dublin for a series of meetings taking place in Dublin Castle from Tuesday 5th November to Thursday 7th November.

The ITF is an intergovernmental organisation with 60 member countries. It is under the auspices of the OECD but has a wider membership of 60 countries including China, Russia & Argentina. It acts as a think tank for transport policy and organises an Annual Summit of transport ministers, executives and researchers.

Ireland formally began the one year term as Presidency of the ITF at the end of the annual summit in Leipzig in May 2019. The Irish Presidency summit in May 2020 will be chaired by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport on the theme of “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development”. Ireland’s presidency provides a unique opportunity to promote Ireland’s interests on a global stage and to showcase Ireland as a global leader in innovation and strong supporter of sustainable development goals.

Speaking today Minster Shane Ross, T.D. stated;

“I am delighted to welcome the membership of International Transport Forum to Dublin and honoured to hold the 2019/2020 Presidency. The theme of Ireland’s Presidency - “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development” is one that holds a particular relevance for Ireland. As a small island nation on the periphery of Europe, we rely on our ability to adapt and innovate, not just with new technology, but also with innovative policies; so the importance to Ireland of an environment that fosters that innovation should not be underestimated.

While on-going innovation is of fundamental importance to the advancement and progression of the Transport Sector, this theme reminds us that we must also ensure that this progress contributes towards developing a better and sustainable future for all - achieving social and environmental objectives as well as economic growth.”

As part of the three day programme held at Dublin Castle to mark Ireland’s Presidency, the International Transport Forum will tomorrow (Wednesday) launch a Corporate Partnership Board report on “Transport Innovations from the Global South: Case Studies, Insights, Recommendations”. The report highlights solutions emanating from the Global South and encourages policy makers to look at them as sources of inspiration for innovation.


Background information:

What is the Corporate Partnership Board (CPB)?

The CPB is the organisation’s platform for dialogue with business. Created in 2013 to enrich global policy discussions with a private sector perspective, it brings together companies with a clear international perspective in their activities that play an active role in transport and associated sectors.

What does the ITF do?

The ITF works for transport policies that improve peoples’ lives. Its mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the role of transport in economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion and to raise the public profile of transport policy.

The ITF organises global dialogue for better transport. Its act as a platform for discussion and pre-negotiation of policy issues across all transport modes. It analyse trends, share knowledge and promote exchange among transport decision-makers and civil society.

What is the ITF Summit?

The ITF’s Annual Summit takes place annually in Leipzig, it is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and the leading global platform for dialogue on transport policy. Each year the Presidency country’s Minister chairs the open & closed ministerial sessions.

What are the origins of the ITF?

The International Transport Forum was created by the “Dublin Declaration” in Dublin on 18 May 2006 by ministers from 43 countries. The roots of ITF go back to 1953, when 16 European nations established the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), an international organisation by treaty, to “coordinate and rationalise European inland transport of international importance”. The ECMT remains the legal core of today’s International Transport Forum.

What is the Presidency of the ITF?

The Presidency of the International Transport Forum revolves annually among member countries. The Presidency chairs the Council of Ministers of Transport and the Transport Management Board meetings and has a leading role in organising the Annual Summit taking place during its tenure. The presidency in 2019/20 is held by Ireland, with Morocco and the United Kingdom as 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents.