03 August 2021, Geneva, Switzerland – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the General Secretariat of the Andean Community (CAN) signed a cooperation agreement to formalize their joint efforts to provide training and capacity-building for the improvement of road safety in the Andean region.
The agreement was signed by the head of the General Secretariat of the CAN, Mr. Jorge Hernando Pedraza, and the Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth.
The event was attended by the Vice Minister of Transport Services and Public Works of Ecuador, Mr. Fernando Arteaga, representing the Pro Tempore Presidency of CAN; by delegates from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru; and by the strategic partners of the agreement: AB InBev, Joie, Pernod Ricard, the Private Sector Regional Centre for the Support of UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (RACE).
"This agreement will allow us to design, plan and execute actions aimed at contributing to the improvement of the state of road safety in the CAN Member Countries and with the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, but above all with the main purpose which is to save lives on our roads", said the Secretary General of the Andean Community.
Mr. Jorge Hernando Pedraza emphasized that this cooperation agreement will strengthen the work that the organization promotes in road safety, specifically in the areas of training and education of the public and private sectors.
The Secretary General indicated that currently there are more than 325’000 accidents per year in the CAN, which result in 135’834 people injured and cause the death of 13’424 people. In view of this, the Andean Road Safety Strategy is being developed, which seeks to establish a sub-regional action framework that includes public policy guidelines, such as the implementation of the Driver's License and the Single Vehicle License Plate, as well as the regulation of fire-fighting devices.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth, welcomed the signing of the agreement and said that it will contribute to achieving the Global Road Safety Performance Targets and move towards the achievement of the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, which aims to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% between 2021 and 2030.
The Executive Director emphasized the role of the partnership as he stated: “Following a multi-stakeholder approach and in close collaboration with the General Secretariat of the CAN, UNITAR is committed to support road safety efforts in the region through training of public policy officials, public awareness and education.”.
Mr. Nikhil Seth finished by thanking the General Secretariat of the CAN for the upcoming contributions they will make at a global level on road safety issues, as well as to the strategic partners for their precious support and commitment: “At the same time, we look forward to learning from the experiences of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the Associated Members and Observers of CAN and sharing best practices with other regions of the world. I take the opportunity to thank our strategic partners that are joining us today for their willingness to support and provide assistance to countries to meet their road safety challenges.”.