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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

14 December 2021


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

Excellency Mr. Viengsavah Sipadone, Minister of Public works and Transport of Lao PDR

Excellency Mr. Alexander Gorovoy, First Deputy Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation,

Excellency Dr. Maria Catalina Cabral, Under-Secretary for Planning, PPP and Information Management Services, Department of Public Works and Highways of the Philippines,

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

The influence of road transport systems is so pervasive that its safety ­-- or lack of safety -- affects our everyday lives. Road safety has been one of the major challenges for development.

While we had both accomplishments and limitations during the first Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, the reality is that the targeted reductions in global road deaths and injuries could not be achieved.

Contrary to our ambitions, road traffic deaths in the Asia-Pacific region showed an increasing trend in the last decade.

The situation remains unacceptable, with more than 2,200 lives lost in our region each day from road crashes, in which more than half are the vulnerable group of road users. These losses are not intractable, and it is within our hands to prevent them. 

Excellencies, distinguished participants,

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2021-2030 as the second Decade of Action for Road Safety and reiterated the aim of target 3.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals to prevent half of all road traffic deaths and injuries at the global level by 2030.

This global goal can never be achieved without the supporting actions from our region, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of global road traffic fatalities.

Being fully aware of our critical role and responsibility, ESCAP attaches great importance to improving road safety in the Asia and Pacific region.

We have been advocating for road safety through a number of collaborations and initiatives at the regional and national levels to support our member countries to improve their road safety situations.

ESCAP joined a Global Task Force to prepare a Global Plan of Action for the Decade. Following its successful launch on 28 October 2021, the ESCAP secretariat has already commenced a study to utilize the lessons learned from the first decade to consider regional and local issues in line with the Global Plan.

We work closely with the secretariats of the Special Envoy for Road Safety and the United Nations Road Safety Fund.

Since its establishment in 2018, the Fund has approved three projects with ESCAP as a participating organization to tackle various road safety issues, including speed management in the Philippines, improving the driving license system in Lao PDR and strengthening the National Road Safety Commission in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Furthermore, in addressing the challenge related to compiling road safety data, ESCAP is working with development partners, including the Asian Development Bank, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile and the World Bank to support countries towards the successful establishment and effective implementation of the Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory.

Most recently, the convening of the fourth Ministerial Conference on Transport allows us to discuss the region’s five-year strategic direction on transport development. –.

Transport ministers will gather this week to decide on the critical ways forward for the region and I am very glad that “Road Safety” is one of the seven key thematic areas identified under the new regional action programme for sustainable transport development for Asia and the Pacific (2022-2026) that will be considered for adoption.

This solidifies the region’s commitment and readiness to advance towards sustainable transport development, including by improving road safety.

Excellencies, distinguished participants,

It is my greatest pleasure to be accompanied by the like-minded group of road safety advocates here at this side event.

I must thank Mr. Todt for jointly organizing this important side event with ESCAP and Excellencies for joining and delivering valuable messages.

I also thank the international organizations and participants for their contributions to this side event.

We look forward to our continued collaborations and further working with you all to save millions of lives by 2030.

Thank you very much.

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