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Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety

by Public Health Update

Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety “The 2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery”

  • PP.1 We, […] Ministers and other representatives of States and Governments, assembled at the United Nations on 30 June and 1 July 2022, for a high-level meeting with a dedicated focus on improving global road safety:
  • PP.2 Recognize that road safety is an urgent development priority, a major public health problem, and a social equity issue, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where over 90 percent of road traffic deaths and injuries occur inter alia, a result of rising traffic, rapid infrastructure expansion and heterogeneous traffic mix, and that road safety is both an enabler and a part of our common goal for the achievement of sustainable development, having cross-cutting implications requiring collaborative cross-sectoral actions, and stressing in this regard, the importance of strengthening international cooperation in raising awareness and addressing road safety issues;
  • PP.3 Recall General Assembly resolutions on improving global road safety; acknowledge the importance of the past three editions of the Global Ministerial Conferences on Road Safety and their outcome documents; and welcome the proclamation of the First Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), and the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030);
  • PP.4 Reaffirm further the importance of timely implementation, in this decade of action and delivery for sustainable development, of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, as well as reaffirm the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention;
  • PP.5 Reaffirm the decision by the General Assembly to invite the World Health Organization (WHO), working in close cooperation with the United Nations regional commissions to act as a coordinator on road safety issues within the United Nations system; recall resolution 57.10 of 22 May 2004 adopted by the World Health Assembly in which it accepted the invitation of the General Assembly; and also recall the appointment of a Special Envoy for Road Safety to the Secretary General and the establishment of the UN Road Safety Fund;
  • PP.6 Reaffirm also the importance of continued action through 2030 on all road safety-related targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, such as target 3.6 and target 11.2; and recognize their importance in enabling the achievement of SDG3 and SDG 11 and in catalyzing action on other SDGs, including on poverty eradication, gender equality, climate change, decent jobs, innovation, and transport;
  • PP.7 Recognize the tremendous global burden that road traffic crashes continue to place on society both in terms of human suffering with nearly 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries each year and average costs to countries of 3 to 5 percent of their annual gross domestic product, which makes road safety an urgent public health and development priority;
  • PP.8 Reaffirm the right of every human being, without distinction of any kind, to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • PP.9 Recognize the impact of road traffic crashes on children and youth and emphasize the importance of taking into account their needs and those of road users who are in vulnerable situations including older persons and persons with disabilities;
  • PP.10 Recognize also that addressing road safety is primarily a responsibility of Governments, while also recognizing the shared responsibility among relevant stakeholders such as public and private sectors, academia, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations, citizens and the media, to move towards a world free from road traffic fatalities and serious injuries;
  • PP.11 Acknowledge the need to promote road safety and sustainable transport to ensure the resilience and efficient functioning of global supply chain connectivity, including for medical supplies, as well as facilitating travel for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • PP.12 Welcome the elaboration of the Global Plan for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which provides a set of options and strategies for use by Governments and other relevant stakeholders while recognizing that implementation of dedicated actions at national and international levels should be supported through commitment, leadership and partnerships, longterm sustained financing including public and private, appropriate legislation, strengthened institutions, enabling environment at all levels, education and training, capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and advocacy, and should be guided by technology and innovation, data, evidence and best practices;
  • PP.13 Also acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all formula and that the global level of ambition necessitates considering the specific situation of each country with its needs, different national realities, capacities, policies and priorities, and encourage the strengthening of efforts, including, inter alia, through the sharing of best practices and effective implementation mechanisms and the provision of relevant technical support to support and promote the accelerated achievement of all road safety-related SDGs;

Commit to scale up our efforts and undertake the following actions:

  1. Drive the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021- 2030, which describes key suggested actions to achieve the reduction in road traffic deaths of at least 50% by 2030 and calls for setting national targets to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for all road users with special attention given to the safety needs of those road users who are the most vulnerable to road-related crashes, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and users of public transport, taking into account national circumstances, policies and strategies.
  2. Develop and implement regional, national and sub-national plans that may include road safety targets or other evidence-based indicators where they have been set and put in place evidence-based implementation processes by adopting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach and designating national focal points for road safety with the establishment of their networks in order to facilitate cooperation with WHO to track progress towards the implementation of the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.
  3. Promote systematic engagement with relevant stakeholders, including from transport, health, education, finance, environmental and infrastructure areas, and encourage Member States to consider becoming contracting parties to the United Nations legal instruments* on road safety and, beyond accession, applying, implementing and promoting their provisions or safety regulations.
    References to UN legal instruments relating to regulations or standards do not imply that regulations developed under these agreements are “international standards” within the meaning of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement and relevant decisions by the WTO Committee on TBT.
  4. Implement a Safe System approach through policies that foster safe urban and rural road infrastructure design and engineering; set safe adequate speed limits supported by appropriate speed management measures; enable multi modal transport and active mobility; establish, where possible, an optimal mix of motorized and non-motorized transport, with a particular emphasis on public transport, walking and cycling, including bike-sharing services, safe pedestrian infrastructure and level crossings, especially in urban areas.
  5. Adopt evidence-and/or science-based good practices for addressing key risk factors including the non-use of seat belts, child restraints and helmets, medical conditions and medicines that affect safe driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, narcotic drugs and psychotropic and psychoactive substances, inappropriate use of mobile phones and other electronic devices including texting while driving, speed driving, driving in low visibility conditions, driver fatigue, as well as the lack of appropriate infrastructure; and for enforcement efforts including road policing coupled with awareness and education initiatives, supported by infrastructure designs that are intuitive and favour compliance with the legislation and a robust emergency response and post-crash care system.
  6. Ensure that road infrastructure improvements and investments are guided by an integrated road safety approach that inter alia takes into account the connections between road safety and eradication of poverty in all its dimensions, physical health including visual impairment and mental health issues, the achievement of universal health coverage, economic growth, quality education, reducing inequalities within and among countries, gender equality and women’s empowerment, decent work, sustainable cities, environment and climate change, as
    well as the broader social determinants of road safety and the interdependence between SDGs and targets that are integrated, interlinked and indivisible and assures minimum safety performance standards for all road users.
  7. Ensure appropriate road user insurance schemes and enhance support for all victims of road traffic crashes and their families; strengthen pre-hospital care and post-crash response; and encourage access for persons with injuries and disabilities to appropriate services for early rehabilitation and social reintegration.
  8. Improve the working conditions of professional drivers, particularly commercial vehicle drivers including by pursuing the implementation of high standards on safety and health at work, road safety and adequate road and vehicle conditions, and invite Member States to implement professional driver qualification frameworks established on the basis of recognized standards for training, certification, licensing, fitness and driving assessment.
  9. Integrate a gender perspective into all policymaking and implementing transport policies that provide for safe, secure, inclusive, accessible, reliable and sustainable mobility, and nondiscriminatory participation in transport; and ensure that policies cater to road users who might be in vulnerable situations, in particular children, youth, older persons and persons with disabilities.
  10. Deliver evidence-based road safety knowledge and awareness programmes to promote a culture of safety among all road users and to address high-risk behaviours especially among youth, and the broader road using community through advocacy, training and education and encourage private sector participation in supplementing national efforts in promoting greater road safety awareness as part of corporate social responsibility.
  11. Strengthen international cooperation on road safety through sharing of good practices, successful implementation mechanisms, and technical standards; ensuring that used vehicles comply with relevant national safety and emissions standards, striving to ensure that all vehicles produced and sold for every market by 2030 are equipped with appropriate levels of safety performance, and that incentives are provided where possible for use of vehicles with enhanced safety performance; encouraging provision of consumer information on vehicle safety through new car assessment programmes, that are independent from vehicle manufacturers and encouraging the sharing of such consumer information with the WHO and other countries, in particular developing countries, including the least developed countries; and harmonization of practices where appropriate, pertaining to training, driving hours and working conditions, vehicle registration, certification and licensing.
  12. Acknowledge the importance of adequate, predictable, sustainable and timely international financing without conditionalities in complementing the efforts of countries in mobilizing resources domestically, especially in low and middle-income countries; support the demands of financing in developing countries by leveraging the United Nations Road Safety Fund and other dedicated mechanisms, as appropriate, for promoting safe road transport infrastructure and for supporting implementation of measures required to meet the voluntary global performance targets, including by supporting the voluntary replenishment of all UN system road safety funds and mechanisms.
  13. Promote capacity building, knowledge sharing, technical support and technology transfer programs and initiatives on mutually agreed terms in the area of road safety especially in developing countries which confront unique challenges, and where possible, the integration of such programs and initiatives into sustainable development assistance programmes through North-South, South-South and Triangular cooperation formats, as well as public private collaboration.
  14. Promote the development, knowledge sharing, and deployment of vehicle automation and new technologies in traffic management using both intelligent transport systems and cooperative intelligent transport systems, in line with national requirements, to improve accessibility and all aspects of road safety while also monitoring, assessing, managing and mitigating challenges associated with rapid technological change and increasing connectivity.
  15. Contribute to international and national road safety by encouraging research, and improving and harmonizing disaggregated data collection on road safety including data on road traffic crashes, resulting deaths and injuries, and road infrastructure, including those gathered from regional road safety observatories to better inform policies and actions; strengthen road safety data capacity including in low- and middle-income countries and improve the quality of systematic and consolidated data collection and comparability at the international level for effective and evidence-based policymaking and implementation while taking into account privacy and national security considerations; and request the World Health Organization to continue monitoring and reporting progress towards the achievement of the goals of the Decade of Action.
  16. Leverage the full potential of the multilateral system, in particular, the World Health Organization, good offices of the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, the United Nations Regional Commissions and relevant UN entities as well as other stakeholders including the Global Road Safety Partnership, to support Member States with dedicated technical assistance and upon their request in applying voluntary global performance targets for road safety when appropriate.
  17. Request the Secretary-General to provide, in consultation with the World Health Organization and other relevant agencies, a progress report during the seventy eighth and eightieth sessions of the General Assembly, including recommendations on the implementation of the declaration towards improving global road safety, which will serve to inform the high-level meeting to be convened in 2026.
  18. Decide to convene a high-level meeting on improving global road safety in 2026 in New York, to undertake a comprehensive mid-term review on the implementation of the present declaration to identify gaps and solutions to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the road safety- related SDG targets by 2030, the scope and modalities of which shall be decided no later than the eightieth session of the General Assembly, taking into account the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.

New political declaration to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 is a milestone achievement

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