As part of UN-ESCWA’s concerted efforts in transport on the regional level, an agreement was signed between UN-ESCWA, represented by Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy, and the Yemeni Ministry of Transport, represented by Minister Omar Mohsen Al Amoudi, to prepare an economic feasibility study for establishing an international railway network in Yemen.
The significance of the study lies in its being part of a regional strategy for railway linkages between countries in the region according to a work plan used to implement the Agreement on International Railways in the Arab Mashreq adopted at the UN-ESCWA 22nd Ministerial Session in April 2003 and which came into effect on 23 May 2005. Yemen was one of the countries to sign it and is set to ratify this agreement soon, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Expected to come out in a year and a half, the study will identify, implement and analyze the expense and benefit factors of the proposed rail linkages and assess the average economic return on investments that is required.
UN-ESCWA also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Youth Association for Social Awareness (YASA) represented by Mr. Ziad Akl, president of YASA International. The MOU is meant to foster cooperation on transport in the field of road safety. In this context, UN-ESCWA will extend technical assistance to YASA on programs it is developing, including raising student awareness of safe driving practices, producing academic and training manuals on road traffic safety, and teaching safe driving and prevention techniques. The two parties will also undertake joint activities such as holding academic seminars and meetings and organizing training workshops on road traffic safety. They will also cooperate together on organizing activities related to the upcoming UN Road Safety Week (23-29 April 2007) and the World Road Crash Memorial Day held on the third week of every November.