UN Launches First UN-Wide Road Safety Strategy
UN Photo/Nasim Fekrat
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The UN and WHO launched the Partnership for Safer Journeys strategy as part of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The Strategy is based on a “safe-system approach” that manages the interaction between speed, vehicles, road infrastructure, and road-user behavior to prevent crashes from resulting in deaths and serious human injury.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, cautioned that SDG target 3.6 on halving the number of global deaths and injuries by 2020 is not currently on course to be met.

28 February 2019: The UN has launched a road safety strategy in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2010. The initiative also will contribute to the two SDG targets that address road safety: SDG target 3.6 on halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents; and SDG target 11.2 on providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems as well as improve road safety for all.

The strategy titled, ‘A Partnership for Safer Journeys,’ was launched on 28 February 2019, at both UN Headquarters in New York, US, and at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The UN Road Safety Strategy is based on a “safe-system approach” that manages the interaction between speed, vehicles, road infrastructure and road-user behavior to prevent crashes from resulting in deaths and serious human injury. The strategy is made up of five pillars: road safety management; safer fleets; safer road users; post-crash response; and creating safer driving environments.

Speaking about the launch, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the strategy will guide UN organizations in developing a new approach towards safer journeys. Peter Drennan, Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, explained that the strategy is “a game changer” being the first time the UN brings a coordinated approach to road safety across the organization. Given that thousands of UN personnel around the world operate in dangerous conditions, the risks they face on the roads every day provided the impetus for the introduction of the strategy, Drennan added.

Addressing the launch in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, cautioned that the SDG target on halving the number of global deaths and injuries by 2020 (SDG target 3.6) is not currently on course to be met. Bachelet described the road safety strategy as “intensely practical and deliverable, and a great example of teamwork between UN agencies.” She committed her Office to working to fulfil all five pillars of the strategy.

Participants at the launches included: Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the UN Secretary-General’s Chef-de-Cabinet; Jean Todt, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety; Michelle Yeoh, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador; the UPS Foundation; and the City of New York.

Also in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, the UN launched the UN Road Safety Trust Fund in April 2018. In December 2018 WHO launched the ‘Global status report on road safety 2018.’ [UN Press Release] [UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Remarks] [WHO Website on Decade of Action for Road Safety]

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