UNECE's information campaign on road safety organized during the 2011 World Scout Jamboree in Kristianstad, Sweden, reached its high point on Friday, 5 August, at 4 p.m. when some 500 scouts from 160 countries held letters forming the slogans "Scouting for Global Road Safety” and “Scoutisme pour la sécurité routière mondiale”.
This marked the culmination of the “Joining Hands for Road Safety” ceremony involving two scouts for each of the approximately 160 countries participating in the Jamboree. Participants observed a moment of silence in memory of the 3,500 victims who die every day on average in road traffic crashes around the world, before reading aloud a "pledge for road safety".
The ceremony was held in the presence of John Lawlor, Head of Contingent of Scouting Ireland; Joao Armando, member of the World Scout Committee; Vassiliki Danelli- Mylona, President of the Greek Road Safety Institute (RSI) Panos Mylonas; Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary; and Ambassador Donal Hamill, Ambassador of Ireland in Sweden.
John Lawlor, Head of Contingent of Scouting Ireland said: "Part of our job as Scouts is to make the world a better place. ‘Joining Hands for Road Safety’ is an act of solidarity and commitment to the change we all want to see on the roads".
Joao Armando, member of the World Scout Committee declared: " We are delighted to have the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe for this work. This support will be vital to build a Global Road Safety Scouting Programme linking national road safety agencies and their national Scouts Organizations. WOSM will be happy to join efforts with UNECE and partners to further promote global road safety activities following the Jamboree".
Vassiliki Danelli-Mylona, President of the Greek Road Safety Institute (RSI) Panos Mylonas said: "3,000 years ago Greeks used to say that in a period of peace people bury their parents while in war times parents bury their children. What takes place on our roads nowadays is an undeclared war. Bearing the tragic loss of my son Panos at 22, I have committed myself to fighting this war. I feel very honored and very motivated looking at you the young people from all over the world who attend this Jamboree and rally for road safety”.
Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary said: "Improving road safety worldwide is vital for society and a top priority for the United Nations. It is in the hands of young people, including yourselves, as scouts and examples of good citizenship and behavior, to spread the message across the world and save lives. I warmly encourage you all, as the leaders of the future, representing millions of your generation that are using the roads and are exposed to road safety risks as any other road user, to bring the road safety message to your countries, national scouting contingents and individuals".
The “Scouting for Global Road Safety” information campaign, organized with the World Organization for the Scout Movement during the week 1-8 August, featured a series of workshops including interactive games and video clips, to help raise awareness about road safety and safe behaviors amongst the youngsters participating in the Jamboree. Some 3,000 scouts attended the various road safety workshops, making it one of the most popular initiatives of the Jamboree's development village.
This campaign is part of UNECE activities within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 - 2020), proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 64/255. It aims at engaging society, and especially the young people, in this cause and to encourage respect for the rules of the road. It is being implemented in partnership with the Hellenic Road Safety Institute “Panos Mylonas”, Scouting Ireland and Scouts of Greece, with the support of the Road Safety Authority of Ireland.
UNECE and the World Organization for the Scout Movement will explore ways to formalize their cooperation to continue promoting road safety around the globe.
Note to editors
UNECE has been pioneering road safety activities in the United Nations system for the last 60 years. As the only existing United Nations intergovernmental body on road safety, its work focuses on improving road safety through developing and updating legal instruments that assist member States all over the world to harmonize and enforce traffic rules and measures, produce safe and clean road vehicles, reduce the risk of accidents with dangerous goods and hazardous materials and ensure that only safe and well maintained vehicles and competent drivers are allowed to participate in traffic.
The Scout movement is one the largest children and youth network in the world. The World Organization for the Scout Movement (WOSM) is one of the International Non-governmental Organizations with General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
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