Violence and Injury Prevention

57th World Health Assembly adopts resolution on road safety and health

World Health Assembly
World Health Assembly

22 MAY 2004 -- After nearly thirty years, the 57th World Health Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on road safety and health. This resolution, which recalls WHA27.59 of 1974, seeks to address the lack of safety on the world's roads, responsible for 1.2 million deaths and as many as 50 million injuries and disabilities annually. Forty-two Member States, UNECE, UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent expressed their views during the debate on the resolution and congratulated WHO for placing this item on the agenda and for dedicating World Health Day 2004 to road safety and launching the World report on road traffic injury prevention.

The resolution urges Member States to integrate road traffic injury prevention into public health programmes; establish government leadership in road safety; facilitate multisectoral collaboration across ministries, communities and civil society; assess the national situation and assure that resources are available that are commensurate with the extent of the road traffic injury problem; prepare and implement a national strategy on road traffic injury prevention; and take specific measures to prevent mortality and morbidity due to road crashes and evaluate their impacts. The resolution also requests WHO Director-General to collaborate with Member States to further research, build capacity and advocate for road traffic injury prevention, raise awareness about the risk factors related to road traffic collisions, and strengthen prehospital and trauma care for survivors.

As invited by the United Nations General Assembly through its resolution on improving global road safety (resolution 58/289), issued during a historic plenary session on the topic on 14th April 2004, this World Health Assembly resolution also accepts the invitation to WHO to serve as a coordinator on road safety issues within the United Nations system in close collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions. The role will involve organizing meetings of relevant global and regional bodies of the United Nations system, establishing joint United Nations activities aimed at implementing the recommendations of the WHO/World Bank World report on road traffic injury prevention, and disseminating information on progress made toward those objectives.

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