Global youth network for road safety

In April 2007 WHO and the UN Economic Commission for Europe hosted the first ever World Youth Assembly for Road Safety. The event - the highlight of the First UN Global Road Safety Week - brought together more than 400 young delegates from 100 countries at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Many of those who participated were road safety practitioners and advocates in their home countries. The Assembly provided them with the opportunity to come together under the auspices of the UN to share experiences and ideas and identify ways to strengthen their work at home. The Assembly served as the occasion to launch a new WHO report entitled Youth and road safety which demonstrated that road crashes are the leading cause of death, worldwide, for young people 10-24 years of age.

The crowning achievement of the Assembly was the adoption by delegates of the Youth Declaration for Road Safety. The Declaration expresses the commitment of the young delegates to act responsibly on the roads and calls upon all sectors of society to do more to ensure their safety. Since April 2007, many of the delegates have continued their good work at home. They have presented the Declaration to senior government officials, collaborated with other road safety organizations on national road safety weeks and other annual events such as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and supported national and local road safety projects.

In 2008 WHO received a grant to support establishment of a formal youth network for road safety, created by youth for youth. It is planned that this network will evolve into a full fledged NGO by early 2010. A Taskforce has been created to give guidance on the overall strategic directions of this nascent NGO and help to implement these as well as to define its mission, goals, objectives and activities. The youth network is currently represented on the UN Road Safety Collaboration by the Vice-Chair of the April 2007 Assembly.

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UN Road Safety Collaboration

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