The Special Envoy travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 16 to 18 January 2021 and held bilateral meetings with government stakeholders.
During these discussions, the Special Envoy informed about new global targets and encouraged safer transport in Saudi Arabia and the Arab region. The Special Envoy congratulated on the reported road traffic fatalities fall by 35.4% between 2015 and 2019, but also expressed concern that road injury is still the second leading cause of death in the country. Furthermore, the Special Envoy encouraged developing a National Road Safety Strategy and Action plan in line with the global targets, including accession to the remaining UN road safety conventions and advocated for joint efforts with the UNRSF.
The Special Envoy met with the following officials in Saudi Arabia:
o H.R.H. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud Al Saud, Minister of Interior;
o H.E. Mr. Tawfig AlRabiah, Minister of Health;
o H.E. Mr. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport;
o Mr. Ali Saeed Al-Ghamdi, National Road Safety Center (NRSC).
Furthermore, on 17 January 2021, the Special Envoy met with the UNCT in Saudi Arabia to discuss the road safety situation in the country, with its challenges and the required support. The Special Envoy shared about the global problem as well as road safety in the Sustainable Development targets. The Special Envoy also elaborated on the UN efforts including the UN Road Safety Strategy and the UNRSF. In conclusion, the Special Envoy encouraged close collaboration and support to the Government of Saudi Arabia in achieving national and regional road safety goals, in developing a new National Road Safety Plan 2021-2030 as well as in acceding the remaining UN legal instruments on road safety.
Led by Ms. Nathalie Fustier, UN Resident Coordinator, UNCT members representing the following agencies participated in the meeting: UNDP, UN-Habitat and UNEP.