Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Secretary-General presents ITF work to OECD Ambassadors

More than 30 ambassadors attended a briefing with Secretary-General Young Tae Kim on ITF activities on 26 September in Paris. Followed by a Q&A, the event updated the OECD representatives of ITF member countries on ongoing work and introduced more than a dozen newly-arrived ambassadors to the organisation. Brazil and Myanmar, both non-members, also attended at ambassador level.

In his presentation, Secretary-General Kim highlighted the strategic orientations for future ITF work, which has its focus on digitalisation of transport, improving connectivity, decarbonisation, transport safety as well as inclusive transport for universal access. Several ambassadors underlined the great practical value of the ITF's work for their governments. Areas of ITF work cited included the decarbonisation of transport, managing the transition to automated vehicles, or transport statistics. The short, highly accessible ITF reports with their pithy executive summaries were also praised.

One of the big issues for which ambassadors look to ITF for support in identifying effective policies is the ongoing transformation of mobility through the rapid digitalisation. Shared mobility, supply chain resilience, infrastructure and safety were also evoked as of interest to governments. Several ambassadors welcomed ITF's activities on women in transport and encouraged the Secretary-General to continue developing ITF’s work on gender issues. On an institutional level, ambassadors were keen to learn about collaboration between ITF and OECD directorates, and provided a number of suggestions for strengthening cooperation.

Secretary-General Kim invited member countries to follow up with the Secretariat in identifying concrete opportunities to support their governments. He also expressed his hope that the two guest countries present would consider membership of the organisation and thereby bring additional perspectives from Asia and South America to global transport policy dialogue that ITF hosts. Transport ministers will again meet for the ITF's Annual Summit in Leipzig, Germany, from 22-24 May 2019. The topic will be "Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration". Secretary-General Kim expressed his hope to see the participants of the briefing and their ministers in Leipzig in May 2019.

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