Who we are

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 54 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organises an Annual Summit of ministers.


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 well-being.


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 54 member countries and beyond engage in focused debates with decision-makers from business, civil society leaders and top academics. The International Transport Forum's 2015 Summit focusing on the theme "Transport, Trade and Tourism" will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 27-29 May 2015.


  • 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 an 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: 54 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 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 PDF signed in Brussels on 17 October 1953 by 16 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 PDF created the International Transport Forum by adopting the Dublin Declaration. PDF

At their meeting in March 2013, the ITF's Transport Management Board adopted revised General Rules PDF that govern the work of the International Transport Forum. Go to overview of key ITF documents.


Our Structure

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

  • 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.
    • 2013 Norway
    • 2014 France
    • 2015 New Zealand


  • 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 research.


  • Corporate Partnership Board: Businesses are at the cutting edge of developments in a rapidly changing sector. For transport policy decision-makers, their foresight of future policy challenges and insights into practical implications of policy options are valuable inputs to transport policy development. In March 2013, ITF member countries mandated the creation of a formal mechanism for engaging with the private sector. The Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) was created as this platform for dialogue with business. The ITF, and the Ministries it represents, invites leading companies from across the transport spectrum to join the CPB. Designed to grow over a three year period, Partners will form a global network of some 50 companies from across all transport modes and closely related areas like energy, finance, IT, who understand the challenges to transport and want to work with policy-makers to find solutions. More information...