General Victor Kiryanov
The UN General Assembly has urged countries and international institutions to redouble efforts to meet the goals of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.
In a new UN General Assembly resolution approved at a debate at UN Headquarters in New York on 19th April more than 80 member states called for governments to implement the Global Plan of the Decade and noted ‘the important role’ of the Road Safety Fund.
In its resolution the UN General Assembly expressed “concern at the continued increase in road traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide, in particular in low- and middle-income countries, bearing in mind that the fatality rate within the road system is considerably higher than the fatality rate within other transport systems, even in high-income countries” and noted that global road traffic injuries are a major public health problem that have “a broad range of social and economic consequences which, if unaddressed, may affect the sustainable development of countries and hinder progress towards the Millennium Development Goals”. With the UN ‘Rio+20’ Conference on Sustainable Development fast approaching, the UN General Assembly also invited “Member States and the international community to take into consideration road safety in the future planning of the relevant important international agendas, such as the efforts to achieve sustainable development” and urged governments to implement each of the 5 pillars of the Global Plan, “paying special attention to the needs of all road users, in particular pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users as well as issues related to sustainable mobility”.
The need to increase funding support for implementation of the Decade of Action was highlighted in the resolution, along with the “important role of the [World Bank] Global Road Safety Facility, the Road Safety Fund established by the World Health Organization and the FIA Foundation, the Bloomberg Philanthropies and other private and public funding mechanisms to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety”.
Some of the major injury prevention projects supported by the Road Safety Fund, such as the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) and the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) were also acknowledged. The UN General Assembly encouraged “the implementation of new car assessment programmes in all regions of the world in order to foster availability of consumer information about the safety performance of motor vehicles” and invited governments to “introduce road safety audits both for new construction projects as well as road safety assessment programmes of the existing networks”.
The resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, with other countries participating in the debate including Barbados, Brazil, Ethiopia, Iceland, Malaysia, Mexico and Oman. The representative of Brazil described road injury as “one of the most pressing public health issues facing us today”.
The UN General Assembly session was preceded by a briefing for member states at UN headquarters chaired by Victor Kiryanov, Deputy Minister of the Interior for the Russian Federation, and Etienne Krug, Director of Injury Prevention at the WHO. Speakers included government representatives from Ghana and the Philippines, updating on their progress in the Decade of Action, as well as Jose-Luis Irogoyen, Director of Transport at the World Bank, and Saul Billingsley, Director of the Road Safety Fund.
A busy week for road safety also saw a meeting of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC. More than 100 representatives of governments, multi-lateral institutions and NGOs participated in the meeting. The Road Safety Fund provided a presentation updating on progress with fundraising and project implementation.
See here for UN Resolution A.66/l.43 on ‘Improving Global Road Safety’ >