As part of a global ‘Week of Action’ for the UN’s post-2015 public vote on future priorities, the Road Safety Fund co-organised a high level Forum to call for urgent action to save lives around the world. The Decade of Action Policy and Donor Forum, held in Melbourne, Australia, called for road safety to be included in the new ‘post-2015’ goals for global development currently being debated at the United Nations.
The goal of the UN’s Decade of Action, launched in 2011, is to save five million lives and prevent fifty million serious injuries. But this objective will not be achieved unless funding, coordination and political support is increased significantly, the Forum heard.
The Forum was hosted by the RACV and co-organised by the AAA, the Commission for Global Road Safety, the Road Safety Fund and the FIA Foundation. The Forum brought together governments, NGOs and automobile clubs, and the private sector from across Australia and Asia/Pacific, as well as global institutions including the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, World Health Organization, UNESCAP and the Global Road Safety Partnership. The event was part of a global ‘Week of Action’ to encourage participation in the UN’s global ‘My World’ vote, which has already seen 2 million people cast votes for their priorities in the next global development goals.
In addition to the post-2015 agenda the Forum also focused on the need for new funding sources to support post-2015 implementation. The role of the private sector in supporting and funding global road safety was a main focus. A session brought together speakers and panellists from companies including WorleyParsons and Hyder Consulting to discuss their motivations for investing in road safety, both as an internal HSE issue and as a CSR or philanthropic mission. A panel of NGOs, including Save the Children, AIP Foundation, Global Road Safety Partnership and the International Road Assessment Programme, discussed effective methods for securing and retaining corporate support for road safety programmes (the GRSP’s Gayle DiPietro is pictured on the panel). A side-meeting also reviewed the potential for social/development impact bonds to finance road safety improvements, particularly in the road infrastructure sector.
Movie actress and Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh was a keynote speaker at the Forum and was also in Melbourne to begin filming a new documentary on road safety. She told delegates about some of the road traffic victims she has met during her fact-finding missions in Asia. “I’ve seen the parents anxiously tending to their son in an intensive care unit in Delhi, or sleeping in the hallway of a Hanoi hospital outside the trauma ward where their daughter lies injured. There is a universal language of pain and grief that follows in the wake of a road traffic crash, and these often very poor families have no one to speak up for them. But now we have an unprecedented chance to make their voices heard. By voting for ‘better roads and transport’ in the UN’s global My World survey, we can ensure that road safety gets onto the radar of policymakers at the UN and around the world.”
The campaign is also encouraging people to vote for ‘better roads and transport’ at the UN’s ‘My World’ survey for the public globally to vote on their post-2015 priorities. Why not cast your vote at My World here.