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Celebration of the First UN Global Road Safety Week


Within the framework of the First UN Global Road Safety Week (23-29 April 2007) held under the slogan "Road Safety is no Accident" and celebrated by countries worldwide, UN-ESCWA in collaboration with the Regional Office of World Health Organization (WHO/EMRO) coordinated the activities of the Western Asia region. These included disseminating relevant posters and organizing intensive campaigns to raise awareness among students of schools and universities on road safety. In addition, numerous TV spots, media programmes, as well as marathons were organized focusing on young road users who were specifically targeted by this Global Week, particularly since more than 40% of road accident fatalities in the UN-ESCWA region belong to the youth generation.


The closing regional ceremony of the week was held in Abu-Dhabi under the patronage of his Royal Highness Prince Saif Ben Zaid Al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Internal Affairs and Ms. Mervat Tallawy, UN-ESCWA Executive Secretary. Representatives from UN-ESCWA member states, as well as international organizations dealing with road safety attended the ceremony which was coordinated by the Emirates Driving Company, the focal point appointed to prepare for the week in the UAE. The celebration comprised scientific lectures and a field visit to the Emirates Driving Company which trains and prepares drivers using modern driving techniques, in addition to a candle marathon for youngsters and a release of balloons. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a plaque was presented by his Royal Highness to the Executive Secretary in recognition of UN-ESCWA efforts in the field of road safety.


Within the same context, UN-ESCWA participated in the global activities of the Week that were held in Geneva, in which the Lebanese youth delegate Nellie Ghusayni was selected to chair the Youth General Assembly. More than four hundred youth delegates representing over one hundred countries participated in the assembly and adopted a declaration calling upon countries to raise the level of safety among young road users and requesting the regional commissions to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of this youth assembly. UN-ESCWA also participated in the second Stakeholders Forum on Global Road Safety which was held on 25 April 2007 at the UN Headquarters in Geneva where it presented the leading problems faced by countries of the region in the field of road safety, as well as the immediate and long-term needs to curtail the harmful outcomes of road accidents. Agreements were reached with various international financing agencies, such as the Global Road Safety partnership (GRSP), the World Bank, and the Federation Internationale de L'automobile (FIA) to contribute to financing UN-ESCWA activities in the field of road safety.