IRF kicks off 75th anniversary celebrations in Geneva

This is a special year for the International Road Federation as it marks the 75th anniversary of its creation.
May 5, 2023


Connecting people, ideas, and organisations has been at the core of IRF’s work over the past seven decades. The striking feature of this incredible journey is the outstanding picture of service that has exemplified IRF activities over the years. Innovating since the day it was created back in 1948, the Federation has been instrumental in providing leadership for global road sector development and has brought road professionals and people around the world together, and in a common mission, in a way that no other organisation could.

IRF1IRF has shared this enriching seven-decade journey with UNECE and the Inland Transport Committee. It is in fact the work of the latter that brought the Federation to move its headquarters to Geneva. The High-Level Segment of the 85th Inland Transport Committee (UNECE ITC) hosted in Geneva on 21st February offered the perfect setting to kick off celebrations for this important milestone. It is the of a series of international and regional events through which the IRF will mark this anniversary.

Addressing the plenary, IRF president Anouar Benazzouz stressed that, “An anniversary is an important moment of lessons from the past, while also representing an open window on the opportunities for the future offers. The destination remains for us unchanged: delivering better mobility systems for all, together.” Benazzouz also thanked UNECE for “the trust, openness, and leadership that have distinguished both its work and of our successful collaboration over the past seven decades.” A message that was echoed during a bilateral meeting by UNECE secretary general, Olga Algayerova who expressed gratitude to the IRF for its unwavering support and contribution to the sector and to UNECE’s work.

IRF1ITC 2023 was also the opportunity to celebrate and reinforce the collaboration with another long-standing partner of IRF who equally celebrates in 2023 its 75th anniversary, the International Road Transport Union (IRU). In an MoU signed on 21st February, both organisations agreed to focus on people, prosperity, and the environment while addressing new challenges and opportunities, including digitalisation and decarbonisation. They will also continue their collaboration in areas such as labour shortages, training, and road safety.

“Partnerships will be crucial to deliver on current and future challenges,” said Benazzouz while sharing with the plenary some of the key messages of the “Road Sector Joint Statement for COP27” released by IRF together with other leading organisations in the sector. The Joint Statement is a collective call to all parties to act with pragmatism, ensure a just transition and embrace innovation.

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