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The Special Envoy addressed the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum in Seoul, South Korea, where he addressed road safety as a global development priority. Co-hosted by the Institute of Global Engagement and Empowerment and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, the GEEF was titled “Putting People and Planet at the Centre”. During his participation at the plenary session on “Sport and Partnerships for Sustainable Development and Peace”, the Special Envoy emphasized the importance of stakeholders’ joint efforts towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. Other panellists included Ms. Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Ed Futa, former General Secretary of Rotary International and Mr. Suh Hong Won, dean of Global Leadership at Yonsei University.

Mr. Lee Nak-yeon, Prime Minister of Republic of Korea

The Special Envoy met with the Prime Minister and provided an overview of his role as well as key priorities, including the establishment of the UN RSTF, for which he encouraged Korea’s support. He further highlighted that Republic of Korea is a contracting party to two out six UN Road Safety Conventions, and encouraged accession to the remaining four. 

The Republic of Korea is a high-income country with the population of 51.24 million (World Bank, 2016), with a WHO estimated 5,931 road traffic fatalities annually, while pedestrians, according to the Korean National Police Agency, represent the largest share (39%) of total deaths. According to the WHO, the Republic of Korea has strong laws on seat-belt use; however, the legislation on the speed, drink-driving, helmet and child-restraints use need to be improved. To date, Korea is a contracting party to the Convention on Road Traffic, and the Convention on Road Signs and Signals and a signatory of the 1958 Agreement concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Part and of the 1998 Agreement concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts.

The Special Envoy’s last visit to Korea was in March 2017, where he met with Dr. Young Tae Oh, President of Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA).