The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety convened 1700 delegates from around 140 countries, including more than 70 ministers and vice-ministers and heads of international agencies, civil society organizations, foundations and private companies. Hosted at the request of the UN General Assembly by the Government of Sweden in collaboration with WHO, the theme was “Achieving Global Goals 2030”, highlighting the connections between road safety and achievement of other Sustainable Development Goal targets.
Through its 6 high-level panels and 18 parallel sessions, the Ministerial Conference addressed a range of topics, from building effective leadership for road safety to promoting sustainable cities and communities, mitigating climate change through road safety, and ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The gathering was instrumental in reviewing progress in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and defining ways to accelerate action on proven strategies to save lives. Among many pre-events, the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety hosted by YOURS: Youth for Road Safety and co-hosted by WHO, brought 200 young leaders together proclaiming “Enough is enough!” and claiming their space at the decision-making table for sustainable mobility.
The Ministerial Conference culminated in the forward-looking “Stockholm Declaration”, which calls for a new global target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030. In addition, it invites strengthened efforts on activities in all five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action: better road safety management; safer roads, vehicles and people; and enhanced post-crash care. It also calls for speeding up the shift to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable modes of transport like walking, cycling and public transport. WHO is asked to continue to produce the series of global status reports, as a means of monitoring progress towards achievement of the 12 Global Road Safety Performance Targets.
Today, around 1.35 million people lose their lives on the world’s roads every year, and as many as 50 million are injured. More than one quarter of those killed and injured are pedestrians and cyclists. Road traffic injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years. Given the enormous human suffering and major economic losses for families and societies, road traffic deaths remain an unacceptable price to pay for mobility.