The Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was formally established in July 1947. For 75 years, ITC has provided a platform for intergovernmental cooperation to facilitate and develop international transport while simultaneously improving its safety and environmental performance. The main results of this critical work are reflected in the 59 United Nations international agreements and conventions which provide a legal framework and technical regulations for everything from the development of international road, rail, inland navigation and intermodal transport, to dangerous goods transport and vehicle construction. The Committee functions with the support of the work of its 20 Working Parties which are in turn supported by more than 40 formal and informal expert groups and in cooperation with 11 Treaty bodies (Administrative Committees).
Some of the most emblematic moments of the 75-year history of the Committee and its Working Parties are included in this publication. During the review of the history of ITC, it became obvious that the 75th anniversary presents a unique opportunity to celebrate the Committee’s decades of achievements in shaping regional and global regulatory governance of inland transport. It is also the appropriate moment to reflect on the strategic direction of the ITC on the road to 2030, with a sense of urgency. A critical worldwide situation has emerged in environmental, social and economic development, further exasperated by the economic and social disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, megatrends - from demographic trends to new technological breakthroughs - that reshape the underlying “rules of the game” for transport and mobility are creating new dynamics, new opportunities and new challenges. Additionally, the development of inland transport also proved to be a challenge for traffic safety. Decoupling traffic increase and road crashes and even targeting vision zero are essential conditions for sustainable mobility. With new urbanism, walking and cycling are having a renaissance and are recognised as fundamental for sustainable urban mobility.
This is the context in which the Committee’s dynamic role must evolve. This process of evolution is guided by the ITC Strategy until 2030, the adoption of which in 2019 prompted the continued expansion of the Conventions under the Committee’s purview towards eventually covering all 193 UN Member States. Through this strategic direction on the road to 2030, ITC as the UN platform for inland transport stays true to its 75-year history that changed the world of transport and impacts the daily lives of billions around the world. It will ensure its continued contribution to the needs and priorities of its members and contracting parties, by leading change in inland transport, and by providing a level-playing field and inclusive platform of reliable solutions at a time when these are needed the most by the international community.