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Innovation focus of Ireland's ITF Presidency

Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar welcomed ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim and members of the ITF team to Dublin during meetings held from 4 to 8 November to mark Ireland's Presidency of the ITF. Mr Varadkar, highlighted Ireland's Presidency as an "opportunity to showcase Ireland as a global leader in innovation and a strong supporter of sustainable development goals”. 

The theme of the ITF 2020 Summit and Ireland’s Presidency - “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development” - is particularly relevant. Ireland provides an example of a relatively small nation which relies on its ability to adapt and innovate, not just with new technology, but also with innovative policies. "Ireland is a hub for innovation.... we are helping you deliver innovative products and solutions for the transport sector globally", said Mr Varadkar.

During the Dublin meetings, Secretary-General Kim provided a full overview of ITF's activities - including the increased interaction with member countries and enhanced promotion and visibility of ITF's transport policy messages - to his Irish hosts and key stakeholders from the ITF's statutory bodies.

On Mr Kim's initiative - and for only the second time in the organisation's history - a joint session of ITF's Transport Management Board (TMB), Transport Research Committee (TRC) and Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) was held in Dublin on 6 November 2019. The combined meeting facilitated the exchange of various ITF experiences and perspectives between members from the spheres of government, research and industry. The session agenda set out Ireland's transport priorities. Secretary-General Kim focused discussions on the potential of transport innovations to radically improve lives worldwide and make essential contributions to address the climate emergency. 

During the three-day programme held at Dublin Castle to mark the Presidency, the ITF launched a Corporate Partnership Board report on “Transport Innovations from the Global South: Case Studies, Insights, Recommendations”. The report highlights solutions emanating from the Global South and encourages policy makers to consider them as a source of inspiration for innovation.

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Photo: (left to right) Shane Ross (Ireland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport), Young Tae Kim (ITF Secretary-General), Leo Varadkar (Ireland's Taoiseach [Prime Minister]), Graham Doyle (Secretary General of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Ireland).