Violence and Injury Prevention

UN General Assembly commits to further action to address the global road safety crisis

On 19 April 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a new resolution set to improve global road safety. Resolution A/66/L.43 recognizes the global public health and development burden resulting from road traffic crashes, while taking into account the efforts made by some low- and middle-income countries to implement best practices, set ambitious targets, and monitor road traffic fatalities.

The resolution welcomes national and local launches of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, officially marked on 11 May 2011, and calls on Member States which have not yet done so to develop plans for the Decade. It also requests governments to implement road safety activities in each of the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users and post-crash response. It holds up multisectoral collaboration as key to the efforts of governments, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector to be able to make progress on saving lives on the world's roads.

Importantly, the resolution encourages stakeholders to plan activities and events to mark the Second United Nations Global Road Safety Week, to be hosted on the theme of "pedestrian safety" in early 2013. It also invites Member States, international organizations, development banks and funding agencies, foundations, professional associations and private sector companies to consider providing adequate and additional funding to activities relating to the Decade.

This latest UN General Assembly resolution on road safety was sponsored by the Russian Federation, and co-sponsored by an additional 80 countries. During the discussions strong statements of support were made by representatives of the governments of Barbados, Brazil, Ethiopia, Iceland, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, the Russian Federation, and Syria as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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