As the Post-2015 Development Agenda continues to engage with global leaders on what should be included in its document, the youth consultation and including young people's thoughts on the issue remains high on the agenda. In our consistent push to bring road safety to the international agenda, our Global Youth Network for Road Safety strongly believes that road safety should be on the agenda, so we have written a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's special Envoy on Youth Mr Ahmad Alhendawi. We publish it here for you to see.
Read about the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth.
Mr Ahmad Alhendawi
Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth United Nations Headquarters, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Subject: Road traffic injuries and the youth submission to the Post-2015 agenda
Dear Mr Ahmad Alhendawi,
On behalf of YOURS – Youth for Road Safety I am writing to you about the importance of including road safety within the youth submission to the UN’s Post-2015 development agenda. Road traffic injuries are a global, man-made (and preventable) epidemic with a health burden on the scale of HIV/AIDS and Malaria. Over 30% of those killed and injured in road traffic crashes are less than 25 years old. According to the World Health Organization road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death worldwide for young people aged 15-29 (1). The vast majority of casualties occur in middle and low-income countries which are experiencing rapid motorisation.
YOURS is a global youth-led non-governmental organization that brings together over 150 youth NGOs active in road safety in more than 100 countries (2). We are delighted that your second priority as Youth Envoy is Advocacy and aim to promote stronger youth participation and a youth-friendly Post- 2015 Development Agenda. On behalf of our global youth network for road safety and on behalf of their regional youth coordinators, we actively reach out to you to participate in this process.
I would like to congratulate you with the online crowdsourcing platform (The Global Partnership for Youth in the Post-2015 Agenda) that facilitates a debate on youth priorities. I recently posted my ‘Road Safety’ idea in its health challenge (3). I am happy to see that this idea was well received by the online community and I am positive that road safety will be further discussed under your leadership. With this letter I would also like to offer my help to further develop the road safety ‘idea’ which hopefully results in a concrete proposal in the document “Youth Voices”.
Governments and international agencies must do more to prioritise road safety and integrate it into wider sustainable development agendas. As a crosscutting issue road safety and sustainable mobility can also assist in achieving wider health, transport and environmental objectives, including reducing air pollution, supporting low carbon transport and enabling the fight against obesity-related non- communicable diseases.
In conclusion, I ask for your help to save our future generations from being killed on our roads while they try to get an education. Access to safe mobility is a human right and must be part of our priorities.
1) Global status report on road safety 2013: supporting a decade of action, Geneva, World Health Organization, 2013
About the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth: Mr. Alhendawi
The UN Secretary-General (UNSG) has identified in his second term working with and for young people as one of his top priorities. In this regard, he tasked the UN Volunteer Program to establish a Youth Volunteer Programme and the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) to develop a System-Wide Action Plan on Youth. Moreover, he appointed Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan as his first ever Envoy on Youth. The Envoy assumed his position on 17 January 2013 to advocate for addressing the development needs and rights of young people, as well as to bring the work of the United Nations with and for youth closer to them.
The Envoy on Youth is mandated with the task of bringing the voices of young people to the United Nations System. Moreover, the Envoy on Youth also works with different UN Agencies, Governments, Civil Society, Academia and Media stakeholders towards enhancing, empowering and strengthening the position of young people within and outside of the United Nations System. The role of the Envoy on Youth is also described by the UN Secretary-General as a “harmoniser between all UN agencies” bringing them together to explore cooperation opportunities for working with and for young people.
The workplan of the UNSG’s Envoy on Youth outlines 4 priority areas; Participation, Advocacy, Partnerships and Harmonisation. During the first year, increased focus will be placed on Employment and Civic Engagement while ensuring the integration of a gender perspective across all work areas. In parallel, the Envoy will support the Education First Initiative and the planned activities in relation to youth and education.