Argentina, Israel and Morocco have joined the International Transport Forum (ITF). The organisation’s top decision-making body, the Council of Ministers of Transport, unanimously agreed to the accession of the three countries at the ITF Summit in Germany last week.
Hosted by the OECD in Paris, the ITF is an intergovernmental organisation that acts as a think tank for transport policy and organises the Annual Summit of transport ministers. Last week’s decision takes the number of ITF member countries from 54 to 57.
What’s more, Morocco is the ITF’s first full member on the African continent. Previously, Morocco was referred to as an ‘observer country’ only. “Morocco’s accession will be a plus for the Forum. It is also a positive development for Morocco,” said Mohamed Najib Boulif, Morocco’s Deputy Minister of Transport. “The geostrategic position of Morocco in the Mediterranean, in Africa, in the MENA region: these are all strategic assets for Morocco’s participation.”
Israel joins the ITF after becoming a member of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010. “Israel is keen to contribute to the work of the ITF, and to be inspired by it,” said Moshe Kamhi, Director of Economic International Organizations in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Argentina is the second ITF member country from South America, following the appointment of Chile in 2012. Argentina has been actively involved with the ITF’s permanent working group on road safety (known as IRTAD) since 2009. It has been a leading force in establishing the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI), for which IRTAD operates a Spanish-language database with road crash information.
The Hon. Simon Bridges, Minister of Transport of New Zealand, the 2015 ITF presidency country, said: “New Zealand welcomes Morocco, Argentina and Israel to the International Transport Forum. The expanded membership of the ITF promises the opportunity to promote an increasingly global outlook for the work of the ITF.”