Qatar participated in the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting dedicated to discuss improving road safety under the slogan 'Horizon 2030 for Road Safety' with the participation of more than 130 countries, QNA reported from New York.
The agenda of the meeting, in which Qatar was represented by a delegation from the National Traffic Safety Committee, covered a number of topics, including the adoption of a concise, action-oriented and agreed political declaration submitted by the President of the UN General Assembly for adoption, a discussion of road safety contained in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, as well as a dialogue between relevant stakeholders to achieve results and more effective achievements, enhance the interactive dialogue on investing in road safety, and to share experiences and benefit from them in addressing the remaining gaps in the process of implementing the second United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Brigadier Engineer Mohamed Abdullah al-Malki, member of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, secretary and head of the delegation, delivered a statement at the meeting on the state of traffic safety in Qatar, reviewing the country's experience in improving road safety and the great attention it attaches to this matter and its unique experience in road safety management in the Middle East and in developing countries, where the issue of preserving the lives and property of society and the states components occupies an advanced position in its social and economic policy.
He stressed Qatar's commitment to implementing the UN plan for 2030, which aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from road accidents by 50%, and pointed to the interest that was manifested in the establishment of the state's pioneering national committee for traffic safety which was entrusted with the task of drawing up general traffic policies and providing solutions and proposals which improves the level of traffic safety on the country's roads in its engineering, technical and human fields.
He added that since its establishment, the committee has played an active role in improving the level of road safety through several measures that it has implemented and which made it achieve advanced results in this field, and which has resulted in reducing the road accident death rate per 100,000 people by 49% during the period of implementation of the first work contract of the UN for Road Safety from 2010-2020, which coincided with the country's implementation of its National Traffic Safety Strategy for 2013-2022.
He referred to the preparations that the National Traffic Safety Committee is currently making to launch its implementation plan for road safety at the beginning of 2023, in conjunction with the second UN Decade of Action for Road Safety for 2021-2030, which aims to reduce the number of road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50%.
Brigadier al-Maliki listed the most important achievements of Qatar in road safety during the period of implementing its strategy, which was to reduce the response time for emergency calls to less than five seconds, and the response time of ambulance and rescue services to reach accident sites to eight minutes, which contributed to saving lives of many accident victims, and thus reducing the death rate. In addition also listed was the developing of the road network and increasing of its length and capacity for traffic, while meeting the highest standards of road safety and establishing 258km of lanes for bicycles and pedestrians, which led to a reduction in the number of accidents on the roads, in addition to raising the level of traffic awareness in the community through traffic awareness programmes by the state from 2010 to 2020. This reflected positively on the behaviour of road users including drivers, passengers and pedestrians, thus reducing the rate of road accidents and the government's adoption of United Nations road safety resolutions contained in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
He referred to the challenges facing countries and people of the world in improving road safety contained in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, stressing the importance of the meeting, which opens the way for a dialogue between the relevant stakeholders, to achieve more effective results as well as strengthening the interactive dialogue on investing in road safety, exchanging experiences and benefiting from them.
Qatar called on countries to co-operate and work together to achieve the goals of the UN Second Decade of Action for Road Safety. It also suggested that the UN form a technical team of experts and specialists to provide technical support to poor countries, to help them improve the level of road safety, and called for an effective mechanism for exchanging information and experiences between countries in order to enhance and improve the level of road safety in all countries.