YOURS was among 270 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and global road safety stakeholders, from 76 countries that met in Chania, Greece for the Sixth Global Meeting of Nongovernmental Organizations Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims (the Global Meeting) last week to call for their governments’ commitment to act urgently to reduce the 1.35 million road deaths that occur worldwide each year.
The Global Meeting was opened by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, and was organized by the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, and cohosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Road Safety Facility of the World Bank.
Road traffic injuries have now become the eighth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death for 5–29-year-olds. Many of these deaths would be preventable with strategic action, yet this issue does not receive the attention and funding given to other non-communicable diseases. The result is that, despite UN-mandated targets, road deaths globally are not decreasing.
NGOs at the Global Meeting discussed actions that would enable governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders together to reduce the unacceptable and preventable loss of life on the world’s roads. This included preparations for the upcoming UN-mandated Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety which will be held in Sweden next year and plans for the upcoming UN Global Road Safety Week, which will be held 6–12 May 2019. YOURS have worked with the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) to develooped the 5th UNGRSW campaign and will be organizing a 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety as a prevent to the 3rd Ministeral Conference on Road Safety in Sweden. This event will draw much needed attention to the global crisis facing youth on the world's roads and bring youth to the decision making table as key partners, part of the road safety solution.
Lotte Brondum, Executive Director, the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, said, “Every day 3,700 people die on the worlds’ roads. This is a tragedy of pandemic proportions. Each victim is not just a number but a mother, father, sister, brother, child, or friend.
Urgent action is needed. Governments need to prioritize political will and funding to road safety in their country. The upcoming Third Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden next year is an opportunity for national governments to demonstrate their commitment to saving lives. We urge them to attend the Conference and to engage with the NGOs in their country. They are the eyes, ears, and voices of their communities and they know what needs to be done. They are valuable partners and they are ready to help.”
YOURS's workshop on Meaningful Youth Participation and the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety
Also during the meeting, NGOs rallied for the 5th UN Global Road Safety and YOURS ran a special workshop session on meaningful youth participation in road safety. We also ran a plenary session on the 5th UN Global Road Safety Week and our Head of Communications, Manpreet Darroch was the compere for the High Level Symposium. YOURS also delievered an evaluation session with the Alliance Advocates trained over the last 3 years as part of the Alliance Empowerment Programme.