The International Transport Forum

Extracted 02JUN2011 from

Who we are

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 52 member

countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organizes an annual summit of


What we work for

Our goal is to help shape the transport policy agenda on a global level, and ensure that it contributes

to economic growth, environmental protection, social inclusion and the preservation of human life and


How we do it

The work of the International Transport Forum rests on three pillars:

  • Annual summit: The International Transport Forum's annual summit is the unique

    platform for a global conversation on strategies for transport in the 21st

    century. At the summit,

    ministers from 52 member countries and beyond engage in focused debates with decision-makers from

    business, civil society leaders and top academics. The International Transport Forum 2011 focusing on

    the theme "Transport for Society" will take place in Leipzig from 25 to 27 May 2011.

  • Think Tank: The work of the International Transport Forum is underpinned by

    economic research, statistics collection and policy analysis. Its evidence-based insights on transport

    policy issues make the International Transport Forum and important think tank for policy-makers and

    the global transport community. Our researchers are committed to delivering impartial analysis of the

    highest quality. Leading academics, regulators and government economists are regularly engaged in

    debate in the Research Centre's roundtables on critical issues for transport policy. The Research Centre

    also maintains a range of statistics and indicators on transport, as well as specialised databases.

  • Intergovernmental Organisation: 52 member countries have joined forces in the

    International Transport Forum to advance transport policy. The roots of the organisation lie in the

    European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), which met until 2007, when the scope and

    geographic reach was widened and the format emerged as the International Transport Forum. The

    International Transport Forum continues to manage the ECMT's system of Multilateral Licences for

    international road haulage on the European continent.

Our History

The International Transport Forum evolved from the European Conference of Ministers of Transport

(ECMT) in 2006/7. At the time, ministers decided to invite new members from non-European countries

in order to address transport issues on a global level and for all transport modes, and to create a

public platform for a broad policy dialogue.

The ECMT was established by a protocol signed

in Brussels on 17 October 1953 by 19 countries. In the post-war years, the challenge was to rebuild

Europe's battered transport infrastructure, and the ECMT provided a welcome mechanism for coordination.

As prosperity grew in Europe, increased trade flows and exploding tourism shifted the emphasis to

expanding transport infrastructure to meet the new demands. With European integration progressing and

globalisation posing challenges of a new magnitude for the transport sector, Ministers at their

meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in May 2006 created the International Transport Forum by adopting the Dublin Declaration.

Our Structure

The International Transport Forum is designed to be a flexible, efficient and politically responsible


  • Secretariat: The International Transport Forum's secretariat is based at the

    OECD in Paris (France). It is led by the Secretary General. The

    secretariat comprises the Research Centre, the

    Policy and Summit Preparation Unit, the Communications Unit and the Management Support Unit.

  • Presidency: The Presidency of the International Transport Forum revolves

    annually among member countries. The Presidency chairs Transport Management Board meetings and has a leading role in

    organising the annual summit taking place during its tenure.

  • Transport Management Board: The Transport Management Board (TMB) gives

    direction to the work of the Forum. It consists of the representatives of the member countries and

    meets at least twice per year. The TMB is chaired by the Presidency country.

  • Task Force: To help the Presidency plan the annual summit, a small Task Force

    is formed from TMB members. In preparing the summit, the Task Force also may draw upon the

    Research Centre, special ad hoc projects groups and policy networks, as well as on consultations

    with stakeholders.

  • Research Centre: In January 2004, the ECMT and the OECD brought together

    their transport research capabilities, setting up the Joint Transport Research Centre. The

    Research Centre provides input for the annual summit and organises longer-term research

    projects under the oversight of member countries' transport ministries and research agencies

    through the Joint Transport Research Committee. Much of the work is undertaken by experts

    from these agencies working collaboratively to report on the latest results of policy-relevant


  • Advisory Board: The Advisory Board is the International Transport Forum's

    principal mechanism of high-level consultation with the transport community. The Board provides

    guidance on general strategy and interaction with the private sector. The Advisory Board is

    composed of a limited number of high level individuals drawn from industry, civil society, the

    academic and research sectors. They are selected on the basis of their personal abilities and

    support for the broad aims of the Forum. As of 1 October 2009, the International Transport Forum's

    Advisory Board consists of:

    • Paolo COSTA, President, Venice Port Authority, Italy;
    • Enrique DIAZ-RATO, CEO, Cintra, Spain;
    • Lord MACDONALD of Tradeston, Chairman, Macquarie Capital Europe, United Kingdom;
    • Claude MANDIL, Former Executive Director, International Energy Agency;
    • Patrick OLIVA, Group Vice-President, Prospective& Sustainable Development, Michelin, France;
    • Ron WIDDOWS, CEO, Neptune Orient Lines, Singapore;
    • Mitsuhiko YAMASHITA, Executive Vice President, Nissan, Japan.