Last week, JH-IIRU director Adnan Hyder and post doctoral fellow Nino Paichadze participated in the United Nations Global Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which has been working to support the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). On April 10, 2014 the UNGA adopted a resolution on "Improving global road safety," sponsored by the Government of the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by dozens of other countries. The resolution’s key decisions include encouraging member states and the international community to consider road safety in the post-2015 development agenda and inviting the World Health Organization (WHO) to continue monitoring the progress of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The UNGA also announced the Third UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015, which will focus on the theme of improving road safety for children. Also included was the announcement that the Government of Brazil will host the Second Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in 2015.
This resolution also urges those member states that have not yet done so to develop national plans in line with the Global Plan for the Decade of Action; nominate national focal points for the Decade of Action; enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors; strengthen emergency trauma care systems; improve the safety of vehicles and roads; and enhance the quality of road safety statistics.
Of concern to the general assembly was the unacceptably high number of road traffic deaths, estimated at 1.24 million in 2010 and the fact that less than 10%of the world's population is covered by adequate laws that address key risk factors like drinking and driving, speeding and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. Also under discussion was that globally, half of all road traffic deaths involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists, and that some developing countries are failing to provide the policies and infrastructure needed to better protect these vulnerable road users.
The resolution acknowledged a number of important international efforts on road safety, with specific mention of initiatives such as WHO's Global status report on road safety 2013; the International Road Transport Union's standards for vocational training of road safety professionals; the Commission for Global Road Safety's report entitled Safe roads for all: a post-2015 agenda for health and development; the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility; the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims; and various efforts of the UN regional commissions, national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and NGOs, including victims' organizations and youth organizations.
JH-IIRU strongly supports the UN General Assembly’s resolution on improving road safety, and looks forward to working with members to continue to promote effective international cooperation on road safety issues.
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