G20 urged to support Sustainable Transport Goal 

David Ward speaking at the Congress
David Ward, Nikki Jamal (Eurovision 2011 winner and Decade Ambassador) and General Victor Kiryanov
(l-r) David Ward, Emma MacLennan (EASST), Jose Luiz Irigoyen (World Bank), Nikki Jamal (Eurovision 2011 winner and Decade Ambassador) and Vusal Rajabli (HAYAT, Azerbaijan)

The Group of 20 leading economies have been urged to support the adoption of a United Nations Sustainable Transport Goal when they next meet in St Petersburg in September 2013. The FIA Foundation’s Director General David Ward made the call at a major road safety conference organised by the Russian Federation in St Petersburg. The 4th ‘Road Safety for the Safety of Life’ conference brought together 1,500 delegates in the historic Tavricheskiy Palace to discuss road injury prevention across the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Highlighting the dominant role of the G20 countries in automotive industry, where they account for approximately 80% of use and production, David Ward explained that they also suffer about 25% of global road fatalities. “These enormous economic and social losses are the reason” he explained, “why the G20 should support a United Nation Sustainable Transport Goal by 2014 that will include a specific commitment to road safety”. Looking forward to the next G20 Summit to be held in St Petersburg next September he hoped that the Russian Federation which is taking a strong leadership role in global road safety will give support to the proposal.

Following the RIO+20 Summit in June the United Nations next year will begin negotiating a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that run out in 2015. The FIA Foundation, the Commission for Global Road Safety, and the major multilateral development banks all support the call for an SDG for transport that should include road safety. This would overcome the unfortunate omission of road safety from the MDGs and give an important boost to the UN Decade of Action at its mid-point.

In St Petersburg the Russian Federation showed that it is making steady progress in reducing its high level of road deaths and injuries. The country has experienced a six year decline in road deaths. There were 18.9% fewer fatalities in 2011 compared with 2004 despite an increase in the car fleet of 35%. To sustain this progress the need for further action was highlighted by senior members of the Government of President Putin, including the Minister of the Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokolstev, the Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov and the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Viktor Kiryanov.

Also participating in the St Petersburg conference was Jose Luiz Irigoyen, Director for Transport at the World Bank and Nigar Jamal from Azerbaijan and the winner of the 2011 Eurovision song contest. She presented a new roads safety themed music video and spoke of her commitment to the UN Decade of Action acting as Ambassador to the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport.

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