Editorial - Newsletter October 2020

Claude Van Rooten

Dear colleagues and friends,

The term resilience is one that PIARC often uses. One of our Committees deals with "Climate Change and Resilience of Road Networks", one of our four strategic themes is entitled "Resilient infrastructure", and it is one of our cross-cutting priority topics: almost all of our 21 Technical Committees or Task Forces work on one of the components of road and transport resilience.

What I would like to mention here is the resilience of our Association in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, which unfortunately is still raging. We were able to set up, very quickly, a response team masterfully led by our Secretary General Patrick Malléjacq, who in four months organised more than 20 webinars devoted to the impact of the crisis on the road world. Other webinars were held in September and October and a full report, scheduled for December, will present international best practices on key issues such as freight management, road safety, network operations and urban transport. For, let's not forget, roads are an essential service.

Our governance bodies have also proved resilient. Our Council has recently acknowledged the extent of the crisis, and has postponed its meeting in Dakar, Senegal, to 2021. The Council will be called upon to vote electronically on a number of issues on 16 November, which is a new development for our Association and its 124 member countries. Our Executive Committee, for its part, met by videoconference over three days in mid-October to prepare these decisions and to review the many projects that are underway. I had the honour of chairing these exchanges, which were rich and constructive, thanks to meticulous preparation work and the good collaboration of all.

Finally, let us not forget that the subject of resilience will be the focus of our next Congress, the XVIth World Winter Service and Road Resilience Congress. The call for papers is open and I invite everyone to submit a paper.

Claude Van Rooten

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