One year in to the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the 66th UN General Assembly in New York ratified its latest resolution on global road safety on April 19, reaffirming its commitment to addressing the man-made humanitarian road crash crisis.
The resolution calls upon states to carry out road safety activities in accordance with the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users and post-crash response.The resolution also assessed the progress made so far and called on all states to take greater action to prevent road crash death and injury.
“Our joint efforts to fight traffic injuries at the national and global levels will be able, not only to save hundreds of thousands of lives, but also promote social and economic progress,” said Victor Kiryanov, Deputy Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation as he introducing the resolution.
In the session leading up to the vote, the Global Road Safety Partnership’s multi-sector approach figured prominently in a speech delivered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which holds observer status at the UN and which hosts GRSP.
In his speech, the head of IFRC’s delegation to the UN’s, Marwan Jilani, emphasized how the Parternship’s approach aligns with the Decade of Action’s call for multi-sector solutions.
“The Global Road Safety Partnership continues to work with governments, the private sector and civil society to implement road-safety programmes,” he told the Assembly. “In Hungary, the Partnership has helped national and local government to develop comprehensive seat belt and pedestrian safety campaigns. In South Africa, the Partnership has helped unite schools, Red Cross volunteers, transport agencies and the private sector in efforts to get children safely to school in areas of increased risk.”
Jilani also cited the capacity building work being done around the world by GRSP, and gave specific examples of how GRSP’s partnership efforts with reduced road-crash related deaths in Poland and Brazil.
He also reminded the Assembly of the key role that Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies play in saving lives on the world’s roadways.
“Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are often first responders in many emergencies, including road crashes,” he continued.“Road-crash victims are also often assisted by individuals who have taken Red Cross and Red Crescent first aid courses.”
“Now, as a global network, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement continues its commitment to road safety, by aligning its efforts with the Decade of Action goals and taking an active part in work to prevent road crashes.”
While the UN’s latest road safety resolution also acknowledged the efforts made by states to reduce the burden of road crashes, it also urges member states which have not yet developed national action plans for the Decade to do so. The resolution also points to several key examples of increased global collaboration toward increasing road safety funding, it suggest much more needs to be done.
“In the humanitarian world, we often refer to crises that do not receive an adequate response as ‘forgotten’ or ‘neglected’,” said Jilani. “For too long, the road-crash crisis has been a forgotten disaster. Even today, given the scale of the problem, funding levels remain far too low.”
“One year into the Decade of Action for Road Safety, we see there are signs that this is starting to change. This is great news. But it’s just the beginning. Much more can – and must – be done. We must remember that unless our response is rapid, comprehensive and grounded in multi-sectoral partnership, the crisis will in fact worsen as millions of additional people start using motorised transport each year.”
To read and download the text of the resolution as well as other UN and WHO documents related to road safety, click here.
To read the full text of the IFRC speech to the United Nations, click here: