World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
15 November 2009
Statement by WHO Director of the Department of
Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability
Dr Etienne Krug
Today on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we at the World Health Organization once again turn our thoughts to the millions who have lost loved ones on the world's roads this year.
Every day the media bring us news of tragic events - passengers of a bus killed in Costa Rica or India, motorcyclists killed in France or Malaysia, pedestrians killed in Egypt or Tanzania. Behind each of these incidents are a grieving family and friends, whose lives are forever changed.
During this past year WHO has reached out to many of you who have turned your personal tragedies into a personal mission, ensuring that victims are better supported and that road safety is improved. We value the work that you do.
From Global Remembrance to Global Action - this year's World Day of Remembrance theme - suits the occasion, as this has been a year of milestone events in road safety.
In May we were honoured to personally meet with representatives of more than 70 associations in Brussels for the first Global Meeting of NGOs Advocating for Road Victims and Road Safety. We were awed by the depth of their commitment and by their rightful demands for action. The collective statement to governments which was prepared should serve as a powerful advocacy tool.
We were also pleased to release in June the Global status report on road safety, which allows countries to compare their road safety efforts with those of their neighbours. The report reminded us that not enough is done to protect those who are most vulnerable. It also confirmed that few countries have comprehensive road safety laws which are well enforced. I encourage you all to make use of this report in your advocacy work.
In a few days, more than 1000 people - ministers of transport, health and interior; officials from UN and other international agencies; and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and foundations - will convene in Moscow for the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. This is a unique opportunity to increase visibility and engagement. We hope that this Conference will result in a call for a much needed Decade of Action for Road Safety. We hope also that the voices of victims and their families will be heard loud and clear.
We wish you a successful World Day of Remembrance.
You can download the statement here :