Last week, the United Nations convened for the 19th Road Safety Collaboration Meeting (UNRSC) followed by the meeting of the General Assembly. Global action to combat a growing worldwide epidemic road deaths and injuries must become part of the UN’s new priorities for development, the UN General Assembly was told on 10 April as it passed a new Resolution to address the crisis.
Governments, including Brazil, Jamaica and Russia, urged inclusion of road safety in the post-2015 goals due to be agreed next year. Many speakers in the debate, including the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, pledged support for the Decade of Action. The US co-sponsored the resolution, which was introduced by Russia's Deputy Interior Minister, Victor Kiryanov.
Speaking at the UN, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Chair of the Commission for Global Road Safety, called for renewed action to save lives on the roads around the world. He was joined by global road safety ambassador, actress Michelle Yeoh, who also addressed the UN General Assembly as it passed a new Resolution to improve global road safety.
Global advocate Lord Robertson, Actress and Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh and Russia's Deputy Interior Minister General Victor Kiryanov address the General Assembly in New York.
Lord Robertson, who was representing the UK Government during the UN debate, called for urgent global support for the Decade of Action: “We have not come as far as many of us hoped, or expected,” he told the UN.
“In 2010, when the General Assembly established the Decade of Action, more than a hundred countries endorsed the objective of stabilising and then reducing road deaths by 2020. But we have not yet seen the levels of international cooperation, political leadership or resourcing necessary to achieve this. This new Resolution recognises the Commission for Global Road Safety’s call for a target for reducing road deaths to become part of the new development goals. Such a global commitment is vital to save millions of lives around the world.”
The new Resolution calls for a global Ministerial conference to be held in 2015 to assess progress of the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The Government of Brazil has offered to host the Ministerial. The Resolution also asks the WHO to plan a Global Road Safety Week in 2015 on the theme of children and road safety.
At the last Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety - YOURS was launched alongside a Moscow Youth Declaration on Road Safety
The new UN Resolution encourages Governments to consider road safety when negotiating the post-2015 development goals. The Commission is calling for a specific global target to reduce road fatalities by 50% to be included in the new Sustainable Development Goals. This would be consistent with the objectives of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Michelle Yeoh, Global Road Safety Ambassador and a member of the Commission, spoke on behalf of Malaysia. She called for further global support for the solutions which have been proven to save lives in countries irrespective of income level.
“We need new sources of funding to support road safety campaign. And we need new momentum in support of our shared objective for the Decade of Action, beginning with inclusion of road safety in the post-2015 goals.”
The Resolution also calls further progress to be made in implementing the Decade of Action in a range of key areas. These include:
The UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 aims to reduce road deaths and injuries across the world with a five pillar Global Plan. More than 1.2 million people die every year on the world's roads, and up to 50 million are injured.The World Health Organization, which reports on the Decade of Action, has shown that while some progress on road safety has been made particularly in high income countries, many low and middle income countries are facing increasing levels of injury and fatality on their roads. Developing countries account for 90% of the global total of road deaths.
The 19th Session of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration was the preamble to the UNGA's resolution.
At the UNRSC Meeting, YOURS shared information about our recent updates and news from the world of youth and road safety including our successful inception mission for our next Capacity Development Training in Belize and updates on the push for road safety to be including in the youth sides of the Post-2015 Agenda.