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First Global Ministerial Conference

First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety
19 - 20 November 2009 - Moscow, Russian Federation

The First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation, on 19-20 November 2009.

Supported by UN General Assembly, the event offered a historic opportunity to raise the political profile of the global road traffic safety crisis and make progress on tackling a leading cause of death and disability. As many as 1500 participants, including ministers and high level delegates form 150 countries, representatives of UN and UN agencies, international governmental and non governmental organizations, civil society and private companies attended the conference, which was addressed by President Dmitry Medvedev.

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Participants called for action to address the large and growing global impact of road traffic crashes; reviewed progress made; and shared information and good practices on road safety. The meeting culminated with the adoption of the Moscow Declaration, which invites UN General Assembly to declare a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Rashid Nurgaiev, Minister of Internal Affairs, Russian Federation, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General, UNOG (on behalf of the UN Secretary-General), Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Deputy Director-General, WHO, Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary, Lord George Robertson, Chairman, Commission for Global Road Safety and Jamal Saghir, Director, World Bank were among the high level participants who addressed the conference at the official opening.

In his address to the Conference participants, President Medvedev emphasised that the annual damage to the global economy from road traffic crashes runs into US$ 500 millions and called on the international community to rally around the problem of road safety and treat it with the same urgency as they have done with the global financial crisis.

Mr. Kubiš, speaking on behalf of all the United Nations regional commissions, highlighted the severe consequences of road traffic crashes, in particular to low-and-middle income countries and supported the Decade of Action for Road Safety. He also invited governments to implement existing road safety related UNECE agreements and conventions and stressed that young people are the most vulnerable group when it comes to road traffic crashes. Moreover, he highlighted the main results of a UNDA funded project, jointly implemented by the five regional commissions, which stressed the importance of setting measurable targets to reduce fatalities and injuries.

In two plenary sessions held during the first day, ministers from countries around the world and high ranking officers from international organizations discussed traffic crashes as a development issue and presented good practices in road safety. During the second day, seven parallel road safety panel discussions were organized on policy frameworks; the health sector’s contribution; safe road users; safe road infrastructure, safe vehicles; and data for road safety. UNECE was well represented in these panels with WP.1 Chair and WP.29 vice-Chair among the panel participants, whilst the Director of UNECE Transport Division was the moderator of one of the panels.

At the closing part of the conference, chaired by Minister Rashid Nurgaiev and Colonel General Victor Kyrianov, head of the traffic police, in which also Paul Clark, Transport Mister of UK, Etienne Krug, WHO, Lord Robertson, Commission for Global Road Safety and David Ward, FIA Foundation made statements, conference participants adopted the Moscow Declaration. The Declaration invites the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2011-2020 as the “Decade of Action for Road Safety” with a goal to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of global road deaths by 2020.

Other UNECE activities during the conference included a joint UN regional commissions’ stand displaying road safety related activities, holding a regional commissions’ road safety cooperation meeting, as well as numerous discussions with participating ministers and delegates.

Mr. Kubiš and the UNECE delegation also attended the International Transport Forum “Transport of Russia: Establishment, Development and the Prospects”, and the transport Exhibition, which were organized by the Russian Ministry of Transport, on 20 November, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the transport authority and transport education of Russia.

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Statements and Presentations  
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General  
Jan Kubis, UNECE Executive Secretary  
Boris Kisulenko, Chairperson of WP.29  
Luciana Iorio, Chairperson of WP.1