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The Special Envoy traveled to Uruguay in July 2018 and held bilateral meetings with the following government officials, road safety stakeholders and UN partners.

Mr. Victor Rossi, Minister of Transport and Public Works of Uruguay

The Special Envoy presented his mandate and priorities and expressed appreciation for Uruguay’s hosting of a sub-regional road safety workshop, which was co-organized in October 2017 with ECLAC, UNASEV and ECE and focused on safer vehicles. The Special Envoy congratulated the Minister on Uruguay’s commitment to road safety, as demonstrated in Uruguay’s National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, which aims to half road traffic fatalities by 2020, coinciding with SDG target 3.6.

As Uruguay acceded to only one of the United Nations road safety convention, namely 1968 Convention on Road Traffic, the Special Envoy encouraged the Minister to consider accession to the remaining five conventions, which offer a solid framework for transport policies and to which the Minister expressed interest. In conclusion, the Special Envoy shared about the recently launched United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund (UNRSTF) and offered support of his Secretariat in Uruguay’s activities to improve road safety. 

Mr. Eduardo Bonomi, Minister of Interior of Uruguay and its Vice Minister, Mr. Jorge Vázquez

During the meeting with the Minister of Interior, the Special Envoy gave an overview of his mandate and activities as well as upcoming priorities and missions. The Minister provided an overview of road safety initiatives led by the government of Uruguay, highlighting speed control efforts and improved legislation. In Uruguay, 70 per cent of road traffic fatalities are attributed to the vulnerable road users, especially motorcyclists. The Special Envoy encouraged the Minister to enhance law enforcement and improve road safety legislation. Furthermore, the Special Envoy shared about the recently established UNRSTF and encouraged Uruguay’s involvement. In conclusion, the Special Envoy highlighted the fact that Uruguay is a contracting party to only one United Nations road safety convention and encouraged consideration of acceding to the remaining conventions.  

Mr. Fernando Longo, Director of Uruguay National Road Safety Agency (UNASEV)

The Special Envoy provided an overview of his mandate and priorities and expressed appreciation for UNASEV’s co-hosting of a sub-regional workshop on vehicle safety last year, with participation of over 40 officials from seven countries in the region. UNASEV Director shared about their ongoing road safety initiatives, expressing his Agency’s interest to continue advancing the regional dialogue and collaboration across the continent on safer vehicles. The Special Envoy encouraged UNASEV to facilitate regional dialogue on accession to 1958 and 1998 Agreements on vehicle regulations and offered support of his Secretariat in accession to or implementation of UN legal instruments. In conclusion, the Special Envoy called upon stronger action to reduce road traffic fatalities and shared about recently established UNRSTF, aimed at supporting Member States’ efforts in this regard. 

Mr. Daniel Martinez, Mayor of Montevideo

The Special Envoy provided an overview of his mandate and ongoing activities, including the recent establishment of the UNRSTF. The Mayor presented an overview of road safety situation and its challenges in Montevideo, emphasizing major causes of road crashes, such as speeding and drink-driving. The Special Envoy highlighted the role of education, awareness raising and law enforcement in making substantial progress and achieving a reduction of road crashes in the city. The Special Envoy further encouraged the Mayor to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a cross-sectoral approach to reducing road traffic fatalities in Montevideo and beyond. 

Mr. Morgan Doyle, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Representative

The Special Envoy met with IDB representatives and outlined the terms of his mandate, as well as provided an overview of his efforts to address road safety. He further highlighted the role of multilateral development banks in supporting government’s efforts towards reducing road traffic fatalities and encouraged IDB to integrate road safety component in their transport projects. The Special Envoy further shared about the recent establishment of the UNRSTF and encouraged IDB’s support and potential contributions. 

Meeting with the UN Country Team in Uruguay

On 24 July, the Special Envoy met with the members of the UN Country Team led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Uruguay, Ms. Mireia Villar Forner. The Special Envoy presented four pillars of his assigned mandate and shared about his activities and priorities, as well as about recent establishment of the UNRSTF. He further gave an overview of the SDG targets 3.6 and 11.2, emphasizing the approaching deadline of one of the targets, and calling for stronger and better coordinated action. Furthermore, the Special Envoy highlighted the fact that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of deaths among UN personnel and shared about UN Internal Road Safety Strategy, developed by UNDSS and scheduled to be launched in the coming months. 

The UN Country Team representatives provided an overview of road safety activities implemented in their respective agencies, including collaboration with national authorities for improving education and infrastructure as well as initiatives on adaptation of national road safety regulatory framework and capacity building activities. In conclusion, all stakeholders agreed on the need to amplify their joint efforts and take a holistic cross-sectoral approach towards reducing the number of road traffic fatalities in the country. 

The following members of the UN Country Team participated in the meeting: 

o Ms. Mireia Villar Forner, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative

o Ms. Luz Angela Melo, UNICEF Representative

o Ms. Lidia Brito, Director, UNESCO Regional Office

o Mr. Rafael Cabrera, Director of UNOPS Office

o Dr. Giovanni Escalante, PAHO/WHO Representative

o Ms. Veronica Amarante, ECLAC, Officer-in-Charge, Director