New CIFAL Madrid to Improve Road Safety Through Training and Education
9 March 2018, Madrid, Spain – To mark the launch of the new International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) in Madrid, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain. The meeting brought together Gregorio Serrano, Director General of Traffic (DGT) at Spain’s Ministry of the Interior, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner of the Government for the Marca España, and Carmelo Sanz, President of the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (RACE), and Mr. Alexander Mejía, Director of UNITAR’s Social Development Programme.
Mr. Alexander Mejía highlighted the need to promote road safety through training and commitment of all public and private institutions. The training of professionals and leaders in the field is one of the key tools to promote actions and strategies to reduce road accidents and victims, a challenge that is included in Target 3.6 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CIFAL Madrid, managed by RACE, has been created with the aim of promoting this commitment.
In Spain, excellent results have been achieved in road safety over the last 15 years, reducing road accidents with the help and participation of society as a whole: from private entities, associations, foundations, the Public Prosecutor's Office, accident victims, car clubs, politics, and the media. For the UN, Road Safety is a priority and UNITAR developed a training programme for authorities and leaders, helping countries suffering from the road accidents through professional training.
At the Road Safety meeting,Mr. Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros highlighted Spain as a role model in the reduction of road accidents: "Spain has been an example to the world in terms of the reduction of its traffic accidents. This is due to a number of factors such as improved infrastructure and the renewal of the vehicle fleet. However, the decisive element has been the change of attitude, awareness and commitment of Spaniards towards measures to prevent road accidents. This is why the success of Spain's road safety management is a triumph that responds to the sum of our efforts".
In this sense, Mr. Carmelo Sanz de Barros mentioned that CIFAL Madrid "will provide training to all professionals who want to promote accident reduction strategies in their countries. Further, he noted that “this is a centre open to all the technicians of the world who want to learn from our experience, to know what has been done in Spain to be among the countries with the lowest accident rates in the world, and to have access to a network of professionals to work on the common objective of saving lives".
Gregorio Serrano, stressed that "thanks to the efforts made by society as a whole - Spain has managed to reduce the number of deaths in road traffic accidents by 59% in the last 11 years - our country is a world reference in road safety.” Indeed, every year, more than 20 foreign delegations from all over the world visit Spain that interested in our model. In addition, the connection established with Latin American countries or a recent collaboration with Algeria are two examples that show how Spain is forming, instructing and advising other countries in their help to reduce this global epidemic.
Finally, Mr. Alexander Mejía presented the UN flag to the President of RACE, Carmelo Sanz, highlighting the commitment of "organizations that represent the same spirit of the UN, the desire to have a better society and to work hard so that the citizens of this planet, country and city have a better future".
Photo 1: Participants of the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.
Photo 2: Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner of the Government for the Marca España (left) and Mr. Alex Mejia, Director of Social Development, UNITAR.
Photo 3: From left to right: Gregorio Serrano, Director General of Traffic, Spanish Ministry of the Interior; Alexander Mejía, Director of Social Development, UNITAR; Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner of the Government for the Marca España; Carmelo Sanz, President of RACE.