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    Thursday, July 4, 2024

    Morocco’s Hilale Introduces Global Initiative: “From New York to Marrakech”

    The Ambassador of Morocco to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, has initiated a global campaign for road safety, titled “From New York to Marrakech.” This initiative serves as a precursor to the upcoming 4th World Conference on Road Safety, scheduled to take place in the vibrant city of Marrakech from February 18 to 20, 2025. Notably, this will be the first time that Africa will have the honor of hosting this prestigious event.

    The campaign’s launch occurred during a distinguished event hosted by the International Peace Institute (IPI) under the theme “A secure and sustainable mobility journey in cities.” The event was graced by the presence of notable figures, senior United Nations officials, ambassadors, and UN-accredited media representatives.

    During the event, Omar Hilale emphasized that Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, aims to establish the 4th World Conference on Road Safety as a platform to amplify the voices of developing nations disproportionately affected by traffic accidents, both in terms of human life loss and socioeconomic consequences.

    It Is important to note that Morocco, as the host nation, is fully committed to collaborating with the international community to ensure a robust and action-oriented Marrakech Declaration by the conference’s conclusion.

    It was noted by the ambassador that particular focus will be given to the African continent, a region experiencing persistent increases in road fatality rates and rapid advancements in mobility and transportation systems.

    This significant Global Conference will convene leaders, specialists, academics, private sector representatives, and NGOs to expedite progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals’ objective of halving global road fatalities by 2030. The conference will feature pre-events, a ministerial roundtable, five plenary sessions, and 24 parallel sessions. Additionally, there will be an innovation competition and a film festival centered on road safety.

    Omar Hilale emphasized that road safety financing will be a top priority at the Marrakech Conference. He mentioned that Morocco will collaborate with the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety to host the High-Level Pledging Forum as a prelude to the conference.

    The diplomat further Indicated that road safety has been a top national priority in Morocco since February 18, 2005, when His Majesty King Mohammed VI launched the first national road safety strategy.

    This particular date marked a significant shift in the institutional approach to road safety management, and substantial progress has been achieved since then, he emphasized. He also mentioned that the Strategy was put into effect from 2004 to 2013, with the primary goal of reversing the increasing trend in the yearly count of fatalities and severe injuries, and to sustainably and continuously decrease their occurrence.

    The 2nd Road Safety Strategy, encompassing the 2017-2026 timeframe, prioritizes the substantial reduction of road accident fatalities by 50% within the target year of 2026, as emphasized by the ambassador. The establishment of the National Road Safety Agency in 2018 further bolstered these endeavors, serving as a dedicated entity for effective road safety management and governance.


    Additionally, Morocco has recently initiated the “Safe Moto” Program, which aims to enhance road safety through awareness campaigns, improved law enforcement, educational initiatives, and the advancement of infrastructure quality and standards.


    With reference to the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, Hilale acknowledged the progress made, but emphasized the need for accelerated action. He highlighted the adoption of a new resolution on “Improving Global Road Safety” by consensus on 24 June 2024, with the support of 57 Member States, which was tabled by the Kingdom of Morocco.

    The resolution encouraged Member States and relevant stakeholders to reinforce their collective commitment to expedite and amplify endeavors to execute the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for road safety and augment efforts to elevate road safety as a paramount political priority.

    The event was honored by the attendance of several distinguished individuals, including the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Road Safety, Jean Todt; the CEO of JCDecaux North America, Jean-Luc Decaux; the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, Hedda Samson; the Ambassador Permanent Representative of Poland to the UN, Krzysztof Szczerski; and the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation of the City of New York, Ydanis Rodriguez.

    Dani Simons, Vice-President at Alstom, the American actor and road safety activist, Jean Reno, the co-founders of Street Art for Mankind, Audry and Thibault Decker, the Japanese artist Dragon 76 and Esra Sergi Bertani, of the United Nations Office for Partnership also participated in this event.

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