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UNECE celebrates the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety

Published: 11 May 2011


The Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2010, is being launched today across the world.

On this occasion, Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary, said “road safety is the responsibility of each and every one of us, but governments have a primary role to play in creating safe road traffic conditions through education, legislation and enforcement”.  He called upon UNECE member states to develop road safety action plans, to set ambitious and measurable casualty reduction targets and to implement more effectively and/or accede to the relevant UNECE road safety legal instruments.

The Executive Secretary also recalled the key contribution of the Government of the Russian Federation in raising road safety awareness.  The country hosted the first ever Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Moscow on 19-20 November 2009.  The Conference brought together ministers and high level representatives who issued a joint declaration inviting the General Assembly to proclaim 2011-2020 the decade of action for road safety. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement to mark the launch of the Decade (link).

In order to celebrate the launch, UNECE is organizing today a side event on road safety at the session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York City, with the participation of the other United Nations regional commissions.  On this occasion, UNECE will present a film highlighting its 60 years of activities in the promotion of road safety as well as a new publication on “Transport for Sustainable Development in the ECE region”.  This publication evaluates the current situation, identifies challenges and presents best practices on the role of transport in achieving social, economic and environmental sustainability, including road safety. 

UNECE is actively involved in the regional and global design and implementation of the Decade and has ambitious plans for a series of road safety activities to educate, to raise awareness, to induce action and to create dynamic and effective responses.  

In the UNECE region, the launch of the Decade took place in Belgrade on 27-29 April 2011.  The conference’s discussions led to conclusions on the necessary actions towards the effective implementation of the Decade.  These were, among others,to encouragethe design and implementation of road safety activities in areas of road safety management, infrastructure, vehicle safety and road user behavior and to unequivocally supportUNECE’s road safety work carried out by the Road Safety Forum (WP.1) and World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29), including promotingaccession to and, where necessary, more effective implementation of UNECE international legal instruments.

Note to editors
Addressing road traffic safety effectively requires a multi-disciplinary approach. UNECE, through its working parties, has been offering such a multi-dimensional approach for the past 60 years and has been developing and administering international legal instruments in the area of road traffic, construction and technical inspection of vehicles as well as safe transport of dangerous goods. These instruments have assisted many governments to harmonize and enforce traffic rules, produce safe and clean road vehicles, reduce the risk of accidents with dangerous goods and ensure that only safe and well maintained vehicles and competent drivers participate in traffic.  Transport infrastructure agreements developed under UNECE auspices, have given Europe coherent pan-European and safer road transport networks.

Ref: ECE/TRANS/11/P09


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