UN Secretary-General issues report: Improving global road safety

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has issued a report Improving global road safety, in advance of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. In the Report, the Secretary-General summarizes both ongoing activities and new developments in road safety at the regional and global levels, while acknowledging that many countries have increased their attention and activities to address road safety. Since the publication of the previous report to the General Assembly in 2007, existing initiatives have been maintained and have gained momentum. During this time global road safety has also experienced a series of 'firsts': the first Global status report on road safety, the first global project on setting road traffic casualty reduction targets, the first meeting of road safety non-governmental organizations, and the first International Conference on Road Safety at Work. These achievements indicate that collaborative advocacy efforts and projects have had a significant global impact. The Secretary-General notes, however, that road traffic injuries continue to be a threat to health and development, and that an ambitious road safety vision and commensurate funding are required to address the global crisis effectively.

The Secretary-General recommends that the UN General Assembly reaffirm its commitment to addressing the global road safety crisis, and calls upon UN agencies and other key partners to continue and to strengthen cooperation in the context of the UN Road Safety Collaboration. Member States are encouraged to take a number of actions to improve road safety, including developing action plans and strategies with measurable targets, strengthening data systems, building lead agency capacity, and addressing key risk factors. In addition, the Secretary-General recommends further expansion of international and local investment in road safety, the inclusion of road safety components in international development projects, increased attention to the safety needs of vulnerable road users, and calls upon Member States to invite WHO, in collaboration with the UN regional commissions, to organize the second UN Global Road Safety Week. The Secretary-General highlights the upcoming Ministerial Conference on road safety as an unprecedented opportunity for all stakeholders to strengthen their commitment and collaboration. He therefore encourages Member States to participate in the conference and to support efforts to establish a Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a commitment to halt and begin to reverse the current trend towards an increase in the number of road traffic deaths.

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