On February 19-20, 2020, leadership from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit joined representatives from more than 140 countries for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), minister-led delegations, and the Government Offices of Sweden, featured important meetings and discussions with multidisciplinary road safety leaders from around the world. 

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, along with Drs. Connie Hoe and Kent Stevens collaborated with ministers, senior officials, researchers, and private sector leaders to take stock of where the field is, discuss successes as well as challenges, and chart a way forward to reduce the toll of road traffic crashes.

“Our time in Sweden for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference was incredibly important and a great indicator of future progress for the field of global road safety,” said Dr. Bachani. “Over the last few days, our team was able to connect with a wide array of passionate, hard-working experts across industries, share ideas for global road safety, and listen to others build upon the inspiring, lifesaving efforts already being implemented at an international level.”


A Royal Welcome

To open the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden welcomed participants to Stockholm. In his remarks, His Majesty acknowledged the tragic reach of road safety challenges in Sweden, Europe, and across the globe, as well as linking the issue to other critically important issues, such as climate change, health equality, poverty, and human rights.

The Youth Are Our Future

Omnia El Omrani, co-chair of the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, greeted attendees shared a deliverable from the proceeding event: the adoption of a Global Youth Statement for Road Safety, representing thousands of young people who demand safer and more sustainable roads and cities. Furthermore, El Omrani emphasized the stakes behind the conference with a compelling declaration.

Leadership in Action

In the parallel session, “Improving the Behaviour of All Road Users,” Dr. Bachani provided expert input on the concept of Vision Zero, as well as the importance of road safety laws and regulations, enforcement, and public and private sector cohesion and collaboration. With the help of additional speakers – featuring leadership from the Global Road Safety Partnership, National Road Safety Agency, International Road Federation Global, UNITAR, and TomTom – Dr. Bachani showcased existing road safety laws on key risk factors and identified actions necessary to reach Global Road Safety Performance Targets.