International Transport Forum

Innovations: The ITF

The International Transport Forum

The International Transport Forum is an inter-governmental organisation within the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) system. It acts as a think tank for global transport policy issues and organises an annual summit of transport ministers. Before 2007, the International Transport Forum existed for over 50 years as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT; French: Conférence européenne des ministres des Transports, CEMT).[1]

The International Transport Forum brings together 54 member countries[2] with the aim to advance the global transport policy agenda, and ensure that it continues to contribute to sustainable development, prosperity, social inclusion and the protection of human life and well-being. It works to facilitate the exchange of information internationally and to improve the capacity for decision making in member countries.

In its Think Tank role, the International Transport Forum provides policy makers and the global transport community with evidence-based insights on transport policy issues [3]. Its work is underpinned by economic research, statistics collection[4] and policy analysis carried out by its in-house Research Centre, often in collaboration with researchers from academia, business and government.

The Research Centre’s programme of work includes focus on environmental sustainability, road safety, efficiency, logistics, traffic congestion and infrastructure, among other themes. The Research Centre maintains the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD), a comprehensive database of statistics related to road safety.[5]

Every year, the Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum brings together ministers from member countries in Leipzig, Germany, to debate a specific, transport-related theme with leaders from industry, civil society and the research community.

Past Summits have focused on Climate Change (2008, Presidency Finland), Globalisation (2009, Presidency Turkey), Innovation (2010, Presidency Canada), Transport for Society (2011, Presidency Spain) and Seamless Transport (2012, Presidency Japan).

The 2013 Summit on Funding Transport, under the presidency of Norway, will be held on 22-24 May 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.

The International Transport Forum’s Secretariat is based at the OECD’s headquarters in Paris, France. At the ministerial session of the International Transport Forum on 3 May 2012, transport ministers elected Mr. José Viegas (Portugal) as Secretary-General. Mr. Viegas took office on 13 August 2012.