Third United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2015: ESCWA Regional Workshop on Road Safety | United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Skip to main content

Third United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2015: ESCWA Regional Workshop on Road Safety

With more than 1.2 millions of fatalities and 50 millions of injuries every year, road traffic crashes remain the eighth leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of death for young people aged between 15-29 years[1]. In fact, 80% of road fatalities occur in middle- income countries, which represent 72% of the world’s population and 52% of the world’s registered vehicles[2].
The United Nations boosted its previous activities[3] to prevent road traffic fatalities by launching the UN decade of action for road safety 2011-2020 with resolution 64/255 of 2 March 2010[4], which requested WHO and UN regional commissions prepare “a plan of action of the decade” with the aim to reduce by half the expected number of road fatalities in 2020, through generalized activities in five mail pillars related to; (a) road safety management, (b) safer roads and mobility, (c) safer vehicles, (d) safer road users and (e) better response to post crashes. The resolution invites the World health organization and the United Nations regional commissions to coordinate regular monitoring towards meeting the target of the decade.
The determination of the United Nations was consolidated recently by resolution 68/269 of 10 April 2014 on improving global road safety[5] which requests in its article 14 WHO and UN regional commissions to “facilitate the organization of activities during 2015 for the third United Nations Global Road Safety Week, with focus on improving the safety of children in traffic”. The same resolution welcomed the offer by the government of Brazil to organize the “second high level global conference on road safety” to be held in Brasilia on 18-19 November 2015. This important conference is going to be a millstone for the midterm assessment of the achievements of the activities of the decade. A draft declaration is already being prepared, which should be submitted to UN member states for review and comments prior to its approval during the conference.
According to its mandate, ESCWA is invited to collaborate to the implementation of activities related to the Third United Nation Global Road Safety Week during the month of May 2015, in continuity with its previous activities for similar Global Road Safety Weeks in the past, and in conformity with ESCWA commitment to improve road safety in its region as one of the main components of the Integrated Transport System in the Arab Mashreq (ITSAM)[6].
 In fact, ESCWA had already organized a “Regional Workshop on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the United nations Decade of Actions for Road Safety in the ESCWA Region”, in Amman on 14-15 November 2012. The workshop reviewed the alarming situation of road safety in the Arab Region and initiated the process of the implementation/activation of national structures for road safety management in line with the recommendations of the Global Plan of Action for the implementation of the “decade”[7].
On its 15th Intergovernmental Meeting on Transport (IGM), held in Rabat on 27-28 January 2015, participants representing ESCWA member states requested that ESCWA prepares the guidelines for the implementation and activation of national structures dedicated to road safety management, like National Lead Agencies, National Road Safety councils and National Road Safety Technical committees. The IGM also requested the submission of the draft guidelines to member states prior to their approval at the 16th Transport IGM scheduled for October 2015.
In this context, ESCWA is organizing a Regional Workshop on Road Safety in the United Nation House in Beirut on May 2015 which will be part of the activities planned for the Third UN Global Road Safety Week. The workshop will tackle the above mentioned issues, in conformity with ESCWA mandates and commitments to improve road safety in the Arab region. The main themes that will be discussed during the workshop include:
a)      Follow-up on Road Safety Management in the ESCWA member countries;
b)      Safety of Children as the theme of the Third UN Global Road Safety Week;
c)      Social Learning on Road Safety;
d)      Lesson Learned and Good practices.     
[1] WHO 2013, Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013.
[2] WHO 2013, p. 4.
[3] UN resolutions on improving road safety since 2003 include resolutions 57/309 of 22 May 2003, 58/9 of 5 November 2003, 58/289 of 14 April 2004, 60/5 of 26 October 2005, 62/244 of 31 March 2008, 64/255 of 2 March 2010, 66/260 of 19 April 2012 and 68/269 of 10 April 2014.