Young Tae Kim
Colombia has joined the International Transport Forum (ITF) as the organisation’s 63rd member country. Ministers of transport from the 62 current member states, meeting virtually for their Annual Summit on 27 May, agreed unanimously to admit Latin America's third-most-populous nation to the world's only intergovernmental organisation with a mandate for all transport modes. Colombia is the organisation’s fourth member state from Latin America. The other member countries from the region are Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Brasationil is an observer country. Attending online meetings The ITF, housed by the OECD in Paris (France), acts as a think tank for transport policy and organisationes a global summit of transport ministers every year. The ITF’s 2021 Summit is currently taking place virtually until Friday, 28 May 2021. Fifty-two ministers responsible for transport, 24 Heads of International Organisations and more than 1700 delegates attend the online meetings. The ITF presents all its members with an opportunity to share knowledge and foster innovation" Colombia’s Minister for Transport, Ms Ángela María Orócsationo Gómesation, addressed the Council of Ministers of Transport, the highest decision-making body of the International Transport Forum, remotely. Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate, Communication and Transport of Ireland, presiding over the 2021 Summit, said: “We welcome Colombia to the International Transport Forum and look forward to working together on key transport policy issues. The ITF presents all its members with an opportunity to share knowledge and foster innovation as part of a global dialogue on transport policy and we hope that Colombia finds its membership a beneficial and constructive experience.” Transport policy challenges Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum, said: “I am proud to welcome the Republic of Colombia to the International Transport Forum as the 63rd member of our growing family of nations.” “Colombia has much to contribute to the global dialogue for better transport at the ITF with its rich cultural heritage and great diversity, its strategic location at the isthmus between the Americas and its unique role as the only South American country with coastlines on the Atlantic and the Pacific. All ITF member countries look forward to learning from Colombia and supporting it in addressing its own transport policy challenges.”
The Republic of Colombia has officially requested to become a full member of the International Transport Forum (ITF), the world’s only global body with a mandate for all transport modes. Colombia’s President Iván Duque Márquez made the announcement at an official event at the Presidential seat Casa de Nariño in Bogotá on 27 November 2020 in the presence of Minister of Transport Ángela Orozco Gomez and ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim (attending remotely). An official request by the Republic of Colombia has been sent to the ITF, which is affiliated with the Paris-based OECD, through diplomatic channels. MoU between ITF and Colombia President Duque’s announcement was made at a signing ceremony for an MoU between Colombia and the ITF President Duque’s announcement was made at a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between Colombia and the ITF that will see Latin America’s third-most populous country become part of the ITF’s permanent working group on road safety, known as IRTAD. ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said in a statement, “I am delighted that Colombia is requesting membership in the International Transport Forum. Under the leadership of ITF’s current Presidency Ireland, our member countries will now be asked to consider Colombia’s request for accession to the organisation.” “My personal thanks go to the President of the Republic of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, and Minister of Transport Ángela Maria Orozco Gómez for their engagement and support.” Member countries The International Transport Forum currently has 62 member countries. Decisions on ITF membership are taken by ITF’s highest organ, the Council of Ministers of Transport. In April 2020, Colombia joined the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to which ITF is affiliated.
The Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum will take place from 26 to 28 May 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. The theme of the Summit will remain “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development”, the topic of the postponed 2020 Summit, with a special focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted innovation in the sector. Lessons from COVID-19 In a message published on the 2021 Summit website, ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said, “The vital importance of the ability to innovate is surely one of the major lessons for transport from the Coronavirus crisis.” “Innovation has been the lifeblood of the transport sector for centuries. Its innate innovative streak was evident in the imaginative, often ingenious ways transport reacted to the immediate health safety challenges as the Coronavirus spread around the globe.” “All the innovative prowess transport can muster is equally essential to tackle the second challenge facing the sector: rebooting stalled transport activity and the economies that depend on it.” Future of transport The innovation theme is relevant and timely for the world’s premier transport policy event “Rethinking the broader future of transport is a third challenge, and probably the biggest. How can we ‘build back better’? How can we make transport systems more resilient and at the same time more sustainable and more inclusive?” “React, reboot, rethink – these three innovation challenges will inform our debate in the last week of next May. Now, more than ever, our collective imagination is needed to find unorthodox solutions and make them work.” “That is why the innovation theme is as relevant and timely for the world’s premier transport policy event now as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.” Post-COVID impacts “The ITF team is already working hard to enrich the programme with pertinent questions and relevant topics related to the post-COVID impacts, as well as notable speakers and innovative formats.” The 2021 Summit will be held under the Presidency of Ireland, which has been extended for another year. The current 1st Vice Presidency country Morocco will assume the ITF Presidency for 2022. The current 2nd Vice Presidency country, the United Kingdom, will assume the ITF Presidency for 2023.
Brazil has become an observer country in the International Transport Forum. Brazil’s request to participate as an observer in the ITF was granted by the 60 current ITF member countries with effect from 15 July. Role of transportation The ITF is the only global body that covers all transport modes. 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 acts as a think tank for transport policy for member countries and as a platform for discussion The ITF acts as a think tank for transport policy for member countries and as a platform for discussion and pre-negotiation of policy issues across all transport modes. It analyses trends, shares knowledge and promotes exchange among transport decision-makers and civil society. ITF’s Annual Summit is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and the leading global platform for dialogue on transport policy. Transport innovations ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said, “The International Transport Forum welcomes our new observer country Brazil with arms wide open. We are keen to learn from the country that gave the world one of the great transport innovations of recent decades, Bus Rapid Transit.” “Equally, the ITF member countries are ready to share their own experiences with Brazil to help address current transport challenges in Latin America’s largest and most populous country. I am sure that it will be a very fruitful collaboration for both sides, and I do hope to see Brazil become a full member of the ITF in due time.” Sharing and discussing transport policies Ambassador Carlos Marcio Cozendey, Delegate of Brazil to International Economic Organisations in Paris, said, "Becoming an observer to the ITF is a very important step in the development of a closer relationship between Brazil and the Forum.” “We highly appreciate the new status granted by member countries to Brazil. We look forward to contributing to the discussions, policy analysis and best practice sharing on transport policies, in this privileged space provided by the ITF." Observer country status in the ITF is granted for one renewable two-year term.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) has announced the postponement of the ITF 2020 Summit, which was earlier scheduled to take place from May 27 to May 29, 2020. ITF 2020 Summit postponed The world’s renowned transport policy event, ITF 2020 Summit, was slated to take place in Leipzig, Germany The world’s renowned transport policy event, ITF 2020 Summit, was slated to take place in Leipzig, Germany, under the theme of ‘Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development’. The decision for postponement of the event was taken after careful consideration and in close consultation with ITF member countries, under the leadership of Ireland, the ITF 2020 Presidency, and Germany, the host country of the ITF 2020 Summit. Alternative event dates to be announced Congress Center Leipzig as the event organiser was also involved closely throughout the decision process. Concrete alternative dates are under active consideration and a new date will be announced at the earliest possible time. “To my immense regret, the COVID-19 pandemic is now compelling the ITF to postpone the 2020 Summit”, said ITF Secretary General, Young Tae Kim in a statement published on March 30, 2020. Protecting health and safety of attendees ITF Secretary General, Young Tae Kim adds, “As a global transport organisation, we understand the shared responsibility for containing the spread of COVID-19. Limiting travel and avoiding physical proximity saves lives. Our primary concern must be to protect the health, safety and well-being of all of those who attend and support the ITF Summit.”