The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety kicked off in Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday - Photo by Nourhan Magdy
Stockholm – 19 February 2020: The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety kicked off in Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday, where around 1,700 delegates from around 140 countries around the world are attending to share successes and lessons from implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
His Majesty the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated the conference and made introductory remarks on roads safety.
“It is very important to come together to share experience and knowledge from all over the world, it is an honor to host this global conference on road safety, and delighted to see many decision makers gathered here in Stockholm, showing commitment to road safety,” King Gustaf said.
His majesty said that road safety is as important as other global issues like poverty, human rights climate change that need to be tackled together.
For his part, the Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth urged decision makers to act to allow children live a safe life, and reduce deaths figures on the roads.
He highlighted the conference as a good opportunity to repeat our commitment to improve road safety, adding that in order for that goal to be achieved, “we need stronger allies, partners and internal community…multilaterally is important.”
UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt said that road deaths figures are shocking, saying although many intergovernmental organizations and governments are mobilized towards reducing the figure, but it is still not enough.
We should not expect different results by doing the same thing when approaching the issue, Todt added.
World Health Organization’s Director-General is 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 World Health Organization predicts that traffic accidents will be the fifth most common cause of death globally by 2030.
The conference marks the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. But more importantly, it marks the starting point for road safety strategies ahead.
The event is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, and minister-led delegations, and representatives from the world of industry and research, international institutions and organizations will also participate.
More than half of the African population will be living in cities by the year 2040, this create vast opportunities for us in Africa, and we need to meet manage these opportunities wisely so that our people are the winners
Our countries are racing time, facing the pressure and needs of growing populations, transport programs are implemented to allow sustainable systems in our continent.
However, Africa records the highest global rates, and actions are still needed, she added.