Sisters, brothers, comrades. On behalf of the whole ITF team, I want to wish you all a happy new year for 2024.
10 years ago in Sofia, when I was elected as your general secretary I talked about the energy you, our members, give us. The energy that together gives us the strength and determination to continuously and unequivocally defend workers rights and give all transport workers a voice.
Today, I know your strength and determination has not faded, and neither has ours.
However, there’s no denying it’s been tough.
Amidst tragic conflict, the climate crisis, a pandemic and a worsening global economic situation, transport workers have faced a massive impact on their lives.
Collectively, we’ve kept our focus. We’ve campaigned on your behalf, demanding the protection and recognition you deserve, including for the sacrifices you made through the pandemic, making sure your voice will continue to shape the future of our sectors.
Through all the challenges, we’ve strived to be there supporting, advocating and protecting your rights across land, air and at sea. Whatever the circumstances, we’ll continue to ensure the ITF is your organisation, ready to confront whatever lies ahead.
2024 is our congress year. It will be a historic year, and I’m confident we can achieve big things together.
It will be our first Congress in the Arab world, and I know our affiliates across the region are excited to welcome you all there in October..
Equally, our global staff - who have been working tirelessly in difficult circumstances to deliver a packed conference cycle - are ready and committed to deliver the best event possible.
We are on track, with just one conference left to go for the Africa region in March. Your contributions throughout the conferences have been invaluable in shaping our direction and we look forward to hearing more from you all in the coming months.
Invitations to Congress are due to go out to all of you early this year and we encourage you to register delegations as soon as possible.
As your general secretary, for 10 years it’s been a privilege to understand, engage and lead through the challenges transport workers are facing. And as we enter a new year, now seems like a good time to officially announce that I want to continue with this progress and confirm that I'm looking for reelection as general secretary for another term.
I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together and although the world has changed dramatically around us my role and our focus has not.
With this is mind, I also want to think to the next inter-Congres period and our vision for the next 5 years.
Our team is working on a work programme, listening to you throughout the conferences and other forums, that will reflect your reality. At the same time, we are working internally to ensure that we are better placed than ever to deliver the mandate you give us.
As we look forward, I want to remind you that this is your organisation.
Back in Sofia in 2014 and then in Singapore in 2018, we challenged ourselves more and more to maximise our potential as an organisation. Now, we are proactively implementing cultural and organisational improvements to make us more connected, inclusive and global than ever before in a way that continues to ensure we grow the ITF and build your power. To face what’s to come - we need an ITF that’s agile, diverse and accessible to all, that serves the transport workers and union leaders of today and tomorrow.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at Congress.