The 2022 edition of the International Transport Forum (ITF) Summit – the first one held as an in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – focused on “transport and inclusive societies” and was the occasion for the FIA to promote the transition towards a more accessible and inclusive mobility future for all. 

The Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum is the world's largest gathering of transport ministers and the premier global transport policy event. Held from 18-20 May in Leipzig, Germany, it offered the perfect occasion to address the main challenges still preventing many people from having a safe and easy access to mobility at a time where the demand for more flexible transport options has never been so high. 

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was invited to take part in the panel discussion of the Summit’s opening plenary, along with Secretary of Transportation of the United States of America Pete Buttigieg, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands Vivianne Heijnen, Minister of Transport and Road Safety of Israel Merav Michaeli, World Travel and Tourism Council CEO & President Julia Simpson, and Development Bank of Latin America Vice President, Physical Infrastructure and Digital Transformation Antonio Silveira.

During the discussion, President Ben Sulayem explained that mobility must not only be affordable but that the future of mobility must also be green and that the FIA, thanks to its network of 244 Clubs representing 80 million road users from 146 countries and its strong connection with car manufacturers, can be part of the solution. The FIA President highlighted the FIA’s work in motor sport that shows that improvements are possible. To illustrate the role of motor sport as a catalyst for innovation, he talked about how the Federation has been applying new technologies and fostering collaboration with manufacturers to achieve the goal of ensuring that by 2026, all the FIA Championships, including Formula 1, will be powered by sustainable fuels or sustainable energies. He also pointed out the fact that the Formula E GEN3 car will be the first net zero car in the first net zero championship as of 2023. 

President Ben Sulayem insisted on the importance of building strong partnerships and fostering cooperation within the FIA and with all stakeholders. “Putting all of this together, if it is the car manufacturer with the fuel manufacturer, and you are in the middle of it: to win you have to have all of these aspects. (…) Listening is very important." He then concluded by highlighting one of the key objectives of the FIA that is to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for a better common future in both motor sport and mobility. 

As explained by the FIA President during the opening plenary panel discussion, to advance towards the goal of making mobility more accessible and inclusive, the FIA, in collaboration with the ITF, launched the FIA Disabled Motoring Website that provides access to information on facilities and options for people with disabilities travelling by car in different countries around the world. At the occasion of the Summit, a dedicated media event gathering FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ITF Secretary-General Dr. Young Tae Kim, Expert for the mobility needs of disabled persons and principal consultant for the project Ann Frye and Finland’s Autoliitto Project Manager and Member of the FIA Disability & Accessibility Commission Janne Koivisto. The event was the occasion to remind that over 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability and that for many of them, access to independent mobility and tourism is still very difficult. Through a live demonstration and testimonies from users, the FIA Disabled Motoring Website was presented to the audience. 

Based on data collected from FIA Member Clubs and ITF Member States around the globe, the FIA Disabled Motoring Website is a valuable resource for travellers with disabilities who often struggle to find information about the rules and conditions that apply, especially when going to another country. By giving them access to accurate data in real time and in an appropriate format, the website enables them to better prepare and have a safer and smoother journey.

During the Summit, bilateral meetings were also organised. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem notably met with Colombia’s Minister of Transport Ángela María Orozco Gómez to discuss safe mobility issues and with Shell Executive Vice President Carlos Maurer to talk about the place of sustainable fuels in the future of both motor sport and mobility. 

The FIA was also present at the ITF Summit through a booth in the exhibition area. On the FIA stand, visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the federation of the world’s leading mobility organisations with a specific focus on the three departments within the FIA Mobility Division: Advocacy; Membership & Services; and Tourism. The FIA booth also highlighted the FIA’s activities to promote accessible and inclusive mobility for all with projects such as the CityTrips app developed by the Reial Automòbil Club de Catalunya (RACC — Spain), the VIAFIA tourism platform, the FIA Disabled Motoring Website, and the ParkDots app, implemented by Hrvatski Autoklub (HAK — Croatia) in partnership with ParkDots (T-Telekom) and the Croatian city of Sisak. Finally, visitors were able to learn more about the #StreetsForLife campaign, which was launched in May 2021 to support the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week. Focused on promoting the importance of low‑speed streets, this campaign is supported by the FIA Road Safety Grants Programme under the ‘Global Action’ stream.

Opening Plenary: Transport as a catalyst for inclusive societies


2022 Summit Highlights: International Transport Forum