Summit of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig
From 18 till 20 May 2022 the city of Leipzig (Germany) hosted the Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF), which was held under the motto “Transport for Inclusive Societies”. This year’s summit, which was chaired by the Kingdom of Morocco, brought together high-level representatives of ministries and other government organisations, commercial and industrial enterprises, research institutions and international transport organisations from around the world to discuss the issues of how to improve the transport connectivity in order to promote the integration processes in the regions – from local communities, towns and cities to regions on a global scale – and contribute to the achievement of economic, social and environmental goals.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) is a global platform and meeting place for leaders in the transport, logistics and mobility sectors to discuss various topical issues of cooperation in the transport industry. The summits address strategic and topical issues vital for all modes of transport, and the outcome of the discussion is the adoption of the annual Ministerial Declaration, which sets out a number of commitments to pursue sound policy and practice in the area that was in the focus of the summit’s attention.
This year’s summit was special because the fact that after a long-lasting pause, caused by the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the participants were again able to meet face-to-face and not only consider the issues during the discussion panels of the forum, but also exchange views within the framework of various informal events.
During the Summit 2022, the OSJD Committee was represented by the Chairman of the Committee, Mirosław Antonowicz, who, within the framework of the ministerial session, delivered a report on the development of transport in the context of the pandemic and on the OSJD activities in response to current challenges in the field of railway transport.
He, in particular, noted the role of OSJD in creating the legal framework for ensuring and promoting the international railway traffic between Europe and Asia and in preparing the legal framework for a unified railway law, as well as dwelt on the development of new technologies and the introduction of innovations on the OSJD railways, on the measures taken to facilitate the border crossing procedures and the use of the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note, transportation security and other. Mirosław Antonowicz particularly emphasised the role of the OSJD railways in ensuring the transportation of goods both during the pandemic and in the period of recovery from it.
The summit also became a platform for holding bilateral and multilateral meetings with the representatives of the OSJD member countries and international organisations that took part in the event.
Within the framework of the Summit sessions, ministers, heads and members of official delegations discussed the issues of transport inclusiveness, security, including in the context of climate change, and the future of supply chains. The parties noted the importance of further cooperation development and joint actions expanding to promote the transport services quality in the difficult conditions of economic recovery after the long COVID-19 pandemic and taking into account the changing situation in the world.
During the summit, the discussion sessions and panels were held on the following topics:
– Bridging the digital split;
– Expanding access to the supply chain;
– The role of transport;
– Efficient and sustainable delivery within the city and beyond;
– Decarbonisation of transport;
– Access to the opportunities in remote and rural areas;
– The role of regional freight traffic;
– Lessons for transport after overcoming the pandemic;
– Creation of a more diverse transport workforce;
– Increasing the inclusiveness of sustainable transport;
– Transport technologies in the service for society;
– Additional activities;
– Eco-friendly cars and not only;
– Transport infrastructure for an environmentally friendly future;
– Transport with zero emission of harmful substances;
– Halving deaths and injuries on railways and road by 2030;
– Inclusive and sustainable urban mobility;
– Digital technologies;
– Climate neutrality.
A wide range of the topics discussed during the Summit provided ample opportunities for the participants of the Summit to exchange ideas and experiences in various areas of transport, thereby contributing to the development of optimal solutions and the search for new directions to achieve the goals and objectives of ensuring sustainable mobility for the population, for the transport of goods and achieving environmental neutrality.