The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a training agency within the United Nations organisation that serves thousands of beneficiaries annually through nearly 500 research and capacity building activities around the world. The UNITAR mission is to develop the capacity of individuals, organisations and institutions and improve decision-making at global level; and to support countries in their actions to achieve a better future, as noted in its programme of activities.

UNITAR was founded in 1963 as an autonomous entity within the United Nations system. Its headquarters are in Geneva, and it has offices in Hiroshima (Japan), Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and New York (USA). There are currently 22 CIFAL Centres, and this figure will increase each year with the incorporation of more cities from around the world.

The UNITAR initiative in the area of road safety, which RACE has joined through the CIFAL Centre in Madrid, aims to contribute towards UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.6 “By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents,” by contributing to the improvement of the behaviour of road users through raising awareness, training professionals who can then boost preventive measures, and extending knowledge of risk factors among the general population.

The UNITAR road safety initiative is focused on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), setting two priority objectives:

  • Contribute to change behaviour and minimise risk factors in driving.
  • Strengthen the capacity of national and local governments to develop and implement strategies geared at improving road safety in line with SDG 3.6.

The actions of the UN programme are focused on the promotion of conferences and congresses on the subject held during the year in different parts of the world, which tackle priority issues related to road safety, as well as sharing good practice applied in other countries.