The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety took place in Stockholm, Sweden
The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety “Achieving Global Goals 2030” took place on 19–20 February 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by the Government of Sweden and co-hosted by WHO, the Ministerial Conference was an opportunity for delegates to share successes and lessons from implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, chart future strategic directions for global road safety, and define ways to accelerate action on proven strategies. The Ministerial Conference provided an opportunity to link road safety to other sustainability challenges. The Ministerial Conference gathered around 1500 delegates, including ministers of transport, health and interior from Member States; senior officials from UN agencies; and representatives from civil society, academia and the private sector as well as from Ukraine.
Road safety is an urgent health and development matter. The number of deaths on the world’s roads remains unacceptably high, with an estimated 1.35 million people killed each year. In addition, as many as 50 million people are injured. Road traffic crashes are the eighth leading cause of death globally for people of all ages, and the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29 years. Road traffic deaths and injuries shatter lives and throw families into poverty. On average, they cost countries 3% of their GDP.
The World Health Organization predicts that traffic accidents will be the fifth most common cause of death globally by 2030.The millions of lives lost every year due to road traffic collisions is “an outrage”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave examples of countries that have achieved progress in road safety like Norway, which recorded only one road death in Oslo last year. “With the right leadership, road safety can be reconfigured, it is only when countries can move towards vision,” he said. Director-General Adhanom added that WHO is committed to work with countries, to improve laws, monitor global progress, and post-crash emergency care. “It is one thing to set goals, it is another to achieve them. There is no excuse for inaction,” he continued. He concluded his statements saying that countries need to rapidly accelerate actions on road, plan for sustainable mobility, measures to increase walking cycling and public transport and engage civil societies and private sector in achieving the goal.
The participants of the conference acknowledged the shared responsibility for overcoming traffic injuries worldwide, the need to involve the widest possible range of public and private sector representatives, academia, professional associations, the public and the media. Substantial progress in this direction is also possible with political leadership at the national level, as well as the implementation of evidence-based strategies and innovative approaches.The global character of the road safety challenge calls for international cooperation and partnerships across many sectors of society.
As a result of the conference, the Stockholm Declaration was adopted, according to which the participating countries pledged:
- Reaffirm commitment to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, recognizing the synergies between the SDG policy areas, as well as the need to work in an integrated manner for mutual benefits;
- Address the connections between road safety, mental and physical health, development, education, equity, gender equality, sustainable cities, environment and climate change, as well as the social determinants of safety and the interdependence between the different SDGs, recalling that the SDGs and targets are integrated and indivisible;
- Call upon Member States to contribute to reducing road traffic deaths by at least 50% from 2020 to 2030 in line with the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’s pledge to continue action on the road safety related SDG targets, including 3.6 after 2020, and to set targets to reduce fatalities and serious injuries, in line with this commitment, for all groups of road users and especially vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and users of public transport;
- Call upon Member States and the international community to address the unacceptable burden of road traffic injury on children and young people as a priority, increasing political commitment, by ensuring that the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health delivers necessary action on road safety;
- Ensure political commitment and responsibility at the highest level and establish regional, national and subnational strategies and action plans for road safety and contributions from different governmental agencies as well as multi-sectoral partnerships to deliver the scale of efforts required at regional, national and sub-national levels to achieve SDG targets, and that these strategies and efforts are transparent and public;
- Encourage Member States that have not yet done so to consider becoming contracting parties to the United Nations legal instruments on road safety as well as applying, implementing and promoting their provisions or safety regulations, and ensure that legislation and standards for road design and construction, vehicles, and road use are consistent with safe system principles and are enforced;
- Include road safety and a safe system approach as an integral element of land use, street design, transport system planning and governance, especially for vulnerable road users and in urban areas, by strengthening institutional capacity with regard to road safety laws and law enforcement, vehicle safety, infrastructure improvements, public transport, post-crash care, and data;
- Speed up the shift toward safer, cleaner, more energy efficient and affordable modes of transport and promote higher levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling as well as integrating these modes with the use of public transport to achieve sustainability;
- Encourage and incentivize the development, application and deployment of existing and future technologies and other innovations to improve accessibility and all aspects of road safety from crash prevention to emergency response and trauma care, with special attention given to the safety needs of those road users who are the most vulnerable including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and users of public transport;
- Ensure timely access to high quality emergency and long-term health care services for the injured and recognize that an effective post-crash response includes also mental, social and legal support for victims, survivors and families;
- Focus on speed management, including the strengthening of law enforcement to prevent speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner, except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe, noting that efforts to reduce speed in general will have a beneficial impact on air quality and climate change as well as being vital to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries;
- Ensure that all vehicles produced and sold for every market by 2030 are equipped with appropriate levels of safety performance, and that incentives for use of vehicles with enhanced safety performance are provided where possible;
- Ensure that an integrated road safety approach and minimum safety performance standards for all road users are a key requirement in road infrastructure improvements and investments;
- Call upon businesses and industries of all sizes and sectors to contribute to the attainment of the road safety related SDGs by applying safe system principles to their entire value chain including internal practices throughout their procurement, production and distribution process, and to include reporting of safety performance in their sustainability reports;
- Call upon public organizations at all levels to procure safe and sustainable transport services and vehicles and encourage the private sector to follow this example, including the purchase of safe and sustainable vehicle fleets;
- Encourage increased investment in road safety, recognizing the high rates of return of road injury prevention projects and programs and the necessity of scaling up activities to meet the road safety related SDGs;
- Emphasize the importance of monitoring and reporting progress towards the achievement of our common goals and, as appropriate, the Voluntary Global Road Safety Performance Targets agreed by Member States, and call upon the World Health Organization to continue to collect, publish and disseminate data through the series of Global Status Reports on Road Safety, leveraging as appropriate existing efforts including those of regional road safety observatories to harmonize and make road safety data available and comparable;
- Call upon the World Health Organization to prepare an inventory of proven strategies and initiatives from a wide variety of member countries that have successfully reduced fatalities in member countries. A report should be readied for publication in 2024.
We call for a first High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Road Safety at the level of Heads of State and government to mobilize adequate national leadership and advance international and multisectoral collaboration in all the areas covered by this Declaration to deliver a 50% reduction in deaths and injuries over the next decade on our way to Vision Zero by 2050.
Full text of the Stockholm Declaration
The first Global Road Safety Ministerial Conference was held in Russia in 2009, the second − in Brazil in 2015.