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UNECE assists SPECA member countries to collect and disseminate road transport and road safety statistics

An underappreciated and often overlooked issue when developing safe and sustainable transportation systems in any nation is thorough and up-to-date statistics on road transport and road safety. Good, reliable statistics support governments and decision makers to understand what issues to address and to make informed decisions. In order to share best practices amongst the countries from the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) region in collecting and disseminating road transport and road safety statistics, UNECE organized a one-and-a-half day workshop in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (8-9 September 2016).

Representatives of five SPECA member countries - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan - and Belarus, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Turkey met with UNECE, the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Euro-Asian Economic Commission representatives (a total of 35 participants) to discuss the methodology for collecting road transport and road safety statistics, as well as how best to make this information available to decision makers, the road transport community and the general public. National representatives presented their data collection mechanisms and key successes/difficulties in data collection. The workshop allowed all to share and learn, and to confirm the mechanisms for exchanging vital transport information.

As part of the 21st session of the SPECA Thematic Working Group on Sustainable Transport, Transit and Connectivity (TWG-STTC), the workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Motor Transport of Turkmenistan.

One of the crucial topics of the 21st TWG-STTC meeting was achieving SDG goals related to transport and assistance to SPECA member countries in implementing and monitoring SDGs. Other TWG-STTC items included recent regional transport infrastructure developments (including intermodal terminals), the removal of major bottlenecks along transport corridors and border-crossing facilitation issues and road safety. The workshop and the SPECA TWG-STTC meeting, both highlighted road safety as a vital issue and urged SPECA member countries to take necessary actions to improve road safety.