Organised by the International Transport Forum at the OECD since 2008, the three-day conference that will kick off on Wednesday (23 May) in the city of Leipzig, Germany is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and policy makers.
More than 40 ministers and up to 1400 delegates from around 85 countries have confirmed their participation to the Leipzig summit.
HRH Prince Michael of Kent in his opening speech will propose a three-point plan to reduce drastically the number of road deaths and serious injuries.
Around 3500 people are killed on the world’s roads every day. If the current trend continues, 21.7 million people will have died in road crashes between now and 2030. “To accept such an appalling human tragedy really cannot be an option”, the Prince will say, according to the manuscript of his opening speech.
“First, we need to establish a new UN road safety target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030… Second, we need to mobilise new resources to finance road injury prevention programmes… Third we need much stronger political commitment to road safety.”
Traffic deaths are avoidable
Calling the ITF Summit “a unique forum where transport ministers can demonstrate leadership”, Prince Michael will say to ministers:
“In your discussions here in Leipzig today, and in your ministerial roles back home, please keep in mind what is at stake between now and 2030.”
“Think of the lives that will be lost, the families shattered, and the tragic waste from another twenty million or more road fatalities. We know that we can do better than this. So many of these road traffic deaths are avoidable. Let us do our utmost to prevent them.”
Cyber-security, blockchain, drones
Other transport safety and security issues that will be debated by over 100 speakers in more than 40 different sessions and events include terrorism, cyber-security, blockchain applications in transport and safety of self-driving cars and drones.
In closed meetings, ministers will also discuss transport and climate, the liberalisation of international road freight transport, the dependency of transport on digital devices and how to make supply chains more resilient.
“Very few other events offer similar breadth of perspective and depth of exchange”, said Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum, ahead of the event.
“For three days, policy makers from all over the world will exchange, discuss, listen and learn about smart ways to deal with new threats and risks from terrorism to climate change.”
Adding to the delegations from the 59 member countries of the Forum, ministers or vice-ministers from South Africa, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia will participate as guests in the Summit. Papua New Guinea will also be represented.
The full text of Prince Michael’s keynote speech will be available online from 14:00 CET on 23 May at https://www.itf-oecd.org/keynote-speech-hrh-prince-michael-kent