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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

04 November 2020

Mr. Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Road Safety

Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UNECE

Distinguish participants and colleagues,

Road Safety is an important and urgent sustainable development challenge that needs greater attention for the Asia-Pacific region, as it accounts for 60 per cent of the global road crash deaths. The Asia-Pacific region loses one person in a road crash every 38 seconds. In the region, road crash deaths increased by about 10 per cent between 2013 and 2016, and more than 50 per cent of the victims were vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, riders and passengers of motorized 2- and 3- wheelers. Road crash deaths and injuries place a significant burden on the national economies as the social impacts are huge.

The UN General Assembly recently proclaimed 2021-2030 as the 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety with a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50 per cent from 2021 to 2030. The Resolution requested the World Health Organization, the UN Regional Commissions as well as other relevant UN agencies, to continue the activities aimed at supporting the implementation of the road safety-related targets in the 2030 Agenda. We have therefore a renewed and strengthened mandate to work towards improving road safety in member States. In this regard, ESCAP has joined the Global Task Force for the development of a Plan of Action for the Second Decade.

In addition to the global initiatives, ESCAP works with its member States towards improving road safety in the Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP resolution 74/3 entitled “Improving road safety in Asia and the Pacific for sustainable transport systems” called upon member States and the ESCAP secretariat to further strengthen international cooperation and knowledge-sharing on road safety at all levels.

At the 3rd Session of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Transport in 2016, member States adopted the Regional Action Programme (2017-2021) that included road safety as a policy priority. In the upcoming 6th Committee on Transport scheduled for 12 and 13 November 2020, road safety will be considered under the social and inclusive transport agenda. Road safety will also be a major theme topic in the next Asia-Pacific Regional Action Programme to be adopted at the Ministerial Conference on Transport in 2021.

Since the establishment of the UN Road Safety Fund in 2018, ESCAP has been serving as one of the Participating UN Organizations. The global fund is already serving as an important supplementary source of much-needed funding to address road safety challenges in ESCAP member States. The pilot project on Speed Management in the Philippines is about to be completed. ESCAP is also working on improvement of the driver licensing system in Lao PDR.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 60 per cent of the global road fatalities. The ESCAP member States need more support to address the road safety challenges, especially for the vulnerable road users in the region. We urge for strengthened financial support of the global community to ESCAP member States towards achieving the SDG targets 3.6 and 11.2 and for implementing the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety. We would also like to suggest for a more tailored support based on the major cause of road traffic accident in a region or country.

In 2019, with a view to helping member States of the Asia-Pacific region in improving road crash and road safety related data for road safety related evidence-based policy decisions, ESCAP has joined the initiative on the establishment and  operationalization of a road safety observatory for the Asia-Pacific region.

I welcome the opportunity to work with all of you to build stronger partnerships among the United Nations organizations and all partners on Road Safety related initiatives.

Thank you.

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