First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety calls for a Decade of Action


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On 20 November 2009 more than 70 Ministers of Transport, Health and Interior and other senior government officials from 150 countries adopted the "Moscow Declaration" at the close of the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

This historic document invites the UN General Assembly to declare a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. It also encourages further implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention; calls for particular efforts to address the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and users of public transport; promotes harmonization of road safety and vehicle safety regulations and good practices; recommends strengthening road safety legislation and enforcement; supports enhancing emergency trauma care systems; and requests additional funding from the international development community, especially for low-income and middle-income countries.

Hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation on 19-20 November 2009, the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety represented a unique opportunity to make progress on tackling a leading cause of death and disability. President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the meeting attended by about 1500 government ministers; representatives of UN agencies; officials from civil society organizations; leaders of private companies; and other road safety experts. Participants drew attention to the need for action to address the large and growing global impact of road traffic crashes; reviewed progress on implementation of the World report on road traffic injury prevention; and shared information and good practices on road safety.

Many groups took the opportunity of the Ministerial Conference to announce new road safety initiatives. On the eve of the Ministerial Conference, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a contribution of US$ 125,000,000 - the largest single donation to global road safety to date - to support projects in ten countries and monitor progress at global level. The aims of the project are to reduce drink-driving; increase the use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets; limit speed; promote sustainable transport and strengthen trauma care. In addition several meetings were hosted in the margins of the Ministerial Conference. These included meetings of YOURS - Youth for Road Safety; the Private Sector Road Safety Collaboration; the network of NGOs advocating for road safety and road victims and the Commission for Global Road Safety. At the latter meeting WHO, as well as the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Sultanate of Oman and the World Bank were handed a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award by HE Prince Michael of Kent.

The newly created "Friends of the Decade" also convened. This is an informal group of Member States which have expressed their commitment to carrying forward the idea of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 to the next discussions on road safety in the UN General Assembly which may take place in March of 2010. They will also support the implementation of activities during the next ten years. The international community hopes that these discussions will result in the official declaration of the Decade, which will seek to halt or reverse the increasing trend in road traffic fatalities around the world by addressing road safety management, infrastructure, vehicles, road user behaviour and post crash care.

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