Road safety SDG targets approved at UN negotiations

Main Image
Main image and above, Brazil’s Ambassador to the UN, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, joined the FIA Foundation’s SDG team, the post-2015 coordinators for WHO and UNICEF, and #SaveKidsLives campaigners to mark the end of the SDG negotiations.
Main image and above, Brazil’s Ambassador to the UN, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, joined the FIA Foundation’s SDG team, the post-2015 coordinators for WHO and UNICEF, and #SaveKidsLives campaigners to mark the end of the SDG negotiations.
As part of the Health & Cities ‘Global Goals’, the road safety targets demand urgent action by the international community.
As part of the Health & Cities ‘Global Goals’, the road safety targets demand urgent action by the international community.
Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, who led the UN negotiations, celebrates adoption of the SDGs (Photo by IISD/ENB).
Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, who led the UN negotiations, celebrates adoption of the SDGs (Photo by IISD/ENB).
The FIA Foundation has coordinated a 3 year campaign for the road safety SDGs, including (above) testifying at the UN’s Open Working Group and (below) briefing government missions.
The FIA Foundation has coordinated a 3 year campaign for the road safety SDGs, including (above) testifying at the UN’s Open Working Group and (below) briefing government missions.

Road safety targets have been included in the final text of the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN member states in New York.

A specific stand-alone target in the Health Goal to reduce road traffic fatalities by 50% by 2020 and a target on sustainable urban transport in the Cities Goal have been approved, in a landmark achievement for the global road safety community. For the FIA Foundation it marks a successful culmination to more than three years of advocacy and coordination of a campaign, in partnership with a wide coalition, to secure inclusion of road safety in the global development agenda for the first time. FIA Foundation staffers participated in the final two-week session of intergovernmental negotiations, as they have done in every relevant session for the past 18 months, talking to government missions and UN agencies to ensure that the targets retained support. The SDGs will guide all global development efforts over the next 15 years, designed to ‘stimulate action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet’.

The final wording of the targets, which will be formally adopted by world leaders at a special summit in New York in September, is:

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages:

3.6. By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents

(In the Health Goal, the stand-alone road safety target is lined up alongside other major priorities including maternal and under-5 mortality, AIDS and universal health coverage. The 2020 SDG target is far more ambitious than the 2020 goal set for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety to ‘stabilise and reduce’ road deaths.)

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable:

11.2. By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

At the UN in New York Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, joined Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF Director and Senior Adviser on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Werner Obermeyer, Deputy to the Executive Director of the World Health Organization office at UN Headquarters in New York, Saul Billingsley, FIA Foundation Director General, Avi Silverman, Director of Advocacy and Communications, and Natalie Draisin, Manager, US Office to celebrate the inclusion of road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals. A delegation of #SaveKidsLives campaigners from New York schools presented Ambassador de Aguiar Patriota with the Child Declaration on Road Safety, a call to action for safer roads for all the world’s children. A ministerial-level conference will be hosted by the Brazilian Government in November 2015 to discuss the implementation of the road safety SDG targets.

The FIA Foundation’s director, Saul Billingsley, said: “This is an historic advance for road safety. For the first time this issue is recognised and included as part of the mainstream global priorities for the next fifteen years. For the first time UN member states have committed, in lengthy intergovernmental negotiations, to a specific, time-based, numerical global target for road fatality reduction. By setting a 2020 health target, and demanding early results, the international community is recognising the urgency of the road traffic fatality epidemic and making this a priority issue within the SDGs. Governments, donors and the road safety community must rise to this challenge - which goes far beyond the goal set for the UN Decade of Action - and accelerate and amplify efforts to reduce this avoidable carnage on the roads.”

“I am immensely proud of our FIA Foundation team, past and present, who identified the opportunity, coordinated the campaign and worked so hard to persuade key governments to support a road safety target and to stay the course. But this is a victory for all the NGO road safety activists, development experts, UN officials, diplomats, automobile clubs and members of the public who believed in the possibility of a road safety SDG target and made it happen. Now the challenge is to translate these words in a communique into renewed action to save lives.”

Read our timeline of the campaign to secure SDG road safety targets

Read the adopted text of the Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about the SDGs at globalgoals.org