On 10 April in New York, the 68th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted by consensus the Russian Federation sponsored resolution entitled ‘Improving global road safety’.
This resolution wanted to ‘reflect the progress achieved by the international community on road safety’ over the past two years, and was based on the WHO recommendations contained in the Secretary-General Report aimed at ‘strengthening multilateral cooperation in all major aspects to reduce the level of injuries and fatalities caused by road accidents’.
Importantly, the resolution reinforced the position that ‘a solution to the global road safety crisis can be achieved only through multisectoral collaboration, private and public funding mechanisms as well as partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society, including national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, academia, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, victims’ organizations and youth organizations, as well as the media’.
Overall, its adoption by consensus reflects positively on the main sponsor, Russia, who conducted the informal consultations in a very professional, respectful and inclusive manner. Had it not been for the controversy over the situation in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the number of co-sponsors to the resolution (73) could have very well equalled or passed 2012 numbers (over 100). Even the US, who was reluctant to sign on, ultimately showed its support for the issue by the Permanent Representative Samantha Powers delivering the statement personally and vouching herself to co-sponsor the resolution.
Governments, including Brazil, Jamaica and Russia, also urged inclusion of road safety in the post-2015 development goals due to be agreed next year. Speakers in the debate pledged support for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, but stated that progress is falling short. The issue must become part of the post-2015 development goals so that millions of lives can be saved, the UN was told.