Summit Sessions



The Summit offers a rich programme of inspiring keynote addresses, interactive sessions featuring transport ministers and other ITF stakeholders to debate policy responses to the sector challenges. A broad range of discussion formats offer many opportunities to exchange ideas. These range from the official Ministerial Session via panel discussions, workshops and demonstrations to informal presentations in the Summit's Open Stage Café.

Interpretation to English, French, German and Russian is provided for the Plenaries and Panel sessions held in Halls 1, 2 and 3.

Ministerial sessions

The Ministerial sessions are at the heart of the Summit. In the Open Ministerial session, transport ministers from the ITF’s 59 member countries exchange on the burning political issues for the transport sector. Additional input is provided by three CEOs from transport or related sectors. This session is open to all delegates and the media.

During the Closed Ministerial Session, ministers from ITF member countries adopt the annual Ministerial Declaration and therein agree on a range of engagements to carry forth sound policy and practice in the area of focus of the current Summit. The annual Declaration is revisited in the interim periods, to enable members to share their good practice and experience in putting into action the engagements embodied in the Declaration.

The 2019 Ministerial Declaration will focus on Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration. This will offer the opportunity to explore progress in countries towards the statements set out seven years ago in the 2012 Declaration on Seamless Transport: Making Connections and reiterate countries' commitments to improving policies for better lives.


Plenaries are high-level panel discussions between Transport Ministers and industry leaders on specific transport topics directly related to the Summit theme. Open to all Summit participants, the plenaries are professionally-moderated in a panel format, usually following an address by a keynote speaker or a “conversation with” style introduction.

Panel sessions

Ministers are joined by high-level speakers in more than 20 panel sessions covering a wide range of cutting-edge transport topics. Panels reflect a broad geographic and professional diversity and focus on practical policy experiences from different settings.

Fishbowl sessions

Fishbowl session is a panel session in a round format, where four to five chairs are arranged in an inner circle - in a fishbowl, and the remaining chairs - for participants, are set in concentric circles outside. The discussion is organised in the form of an open conversation, when one or more chairs are left empty to any member of the audience who wants to join the conversation or ask a question.

Networking Breakfast or Lunch session

The Networking session brings together approximately 100 participants seated at tables of 8-10 (max 10 tables), each hosted by a discussion leader, for 1h30 of exchange. The session starts with a 20-minute panel discussion to introduce the topic. Afterwards, the moderator invites everyone to engage in conversations at their table. Table discussions are animated by the speakers and ITF stakeholders discussion leaders (30 min). Each table is asked to share a brief summary of their conversation and then the moderator opens the discussion engaging the other participants.

ITF Masterclass

A workshop-like format in which international thought leaders take a hands-on, interactive approach to examine specific transport issues together with participants.

ITF Open Stage Café

The ITF Open Stage Café provides a place for speakers, participants and ITF experts to meet in an informal setting to interact and exchange their ideas and views. The Café is dedicated to different forms of engagement, including presentations, book launches, debates and one-on-one interactions with Summit speakers. Each speaking slot (about 30 minutes) is split into two parts: 10-15 minutes for presentation, followed by 15 minutes for discussion and interaction with the audience.