Since 2008, the International Transport Forum has brought together ministers from around the world to share policy perspectives with CEOs, heads of international organisations, thought leaders from civil society and academia, and media.
This year, ITF Summit explored how better transport connectivity can help integrate regions – from local communities and cities to global regions – and enable the achievement of economic, social, and environmental goals.
UIC, as is the case every year, participated in this major event. François Davenne, UIC Deputy Director General, participated in two sessions.
The first one was a Ministers’ Roundtable on “Transport and climate change: Moving forward from COP24”, bringing together Ms Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands, Mr Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Infrastructure, Sweden, Mr Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure and Construction, Poland, Mr Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Morocco, Ms Gloria Hutt Hesse, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Chile. There were also representatives from industry and international organisations, such as Ms Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, Mr Martin Frick, Senior Director for Policy and Programme Coordination, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), Mr Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General, International Road Transport Union (IRU), Mr Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General, European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and Ms Cecile Texier, Sustainability & CSR Vice President, Alstom.
François Davenne particularly insisted on a double shift. He said: “Meeting the expectation of COP24 means a double shift, a modal shift to rail and public transport, first, and perhaps more importantly a shift in attitude.” He followed by saying: “Railways produce very few emissions. But we must continue to cooperate, by improving our approach, and by creating an intellectual framework that allows us to manage and create a fair common system. Once railways and public transport will be grouped together, we can achieve this goal.”
François Davenne also represented the railway sector in a Plenary session held on 23 May on “Fostering Connectivity Across Borders Plenary Session”, bringing together Mr Hichem Ben Ahmed, Minister of Transport, Tunisia, Ms Karla Peijs, European Coordinator for the TEN-T Rhine-Danube Corridor, European Commission, Ms Ana Hinojosa, Director of Compliance and Facilitation, World Customs Organization (WCO), Mr Maximilian Eichhorn, Head of Strategy & Business Development, Siemens Mobility and Mr Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles.
François Davenne started by reiterating that fostering connectivity across borders supposes that railways can become the backbone for international mobility with both external and internal interfaces. He highlighted the role of UIC’s International Railway Solutions (IRS) in the management of these interfaces. He also explained that big data is part of the solution. The other part is the capacity of managing collectively the data. The UIC Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) would help in this direction. Fostering internal interfaces means not only interoperability but also agreeing on common operational processes. Today, those processes are nationally consistent but fail to be consistent internationally. UIC is building a consistent set of standards (IRS) that provides the necessary framework for setting up rail services internationally, from ticketing application to the Future Mobile Railway Communication System.
The second enabler is modelling. He said: “We do not have a common understanding of modelling between railways. Then we have to work together, by saying what interlockings have to do.” He also stressed the need to shift our attitude, to be more flexible and to take into account real time.
Parallel to this Forum, UIC’s Head of the Sustainable Development Unit Carole Escolan-Zeno participated in a working session of SUM4all.
The sessions can be viewed here: https://2019.itf-oecd.org/videos
The 2020 Summit will deal with “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development” and will be held on 27 – 29 May, under the Presidency of Ireland.