92nd Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Urges Speedier Action to Reduce Deaths, Injuries from Traffic Accidents Worldwide, Adopting Resolution on Improving Global Road Safety

The General Assembly today urged accelerated action to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic accidents worldwide by implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030.

Acting without a vote, the 193-member organ adopted the resolution “Improving global road safety” (document A/78/L.78), by which it urged Member States and relevant actors to accelerate and scale up efforts to implement the Global Plan, making road safety a political priority and ensuring its relevance in the broader sustainable development agenda.

Also by the text, the Assembly invited Member States that have not already done so to “consider adopting comprehensive legislation on key risk factors”, including the non-use of seat belts, child restraints and helmets, and driving under the influence.  It encouraged countries to establish ministerial coordination mechanisms — notably among the health, transport, education, infrastructure, interior and environment ministries — to address cross-cutting issues. 

The Assembly welcomed Morocco’s offer to host the fourth Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety from 18 to 20 February 2025 in Marrakech.  It also called upon Member States to strengthen the collection, reporting and use of road safety data to generate real-time feedback to inform the implementation of the Global Plan.

“As we approach the halfway point of the Decade of Action, there is still a great deal to do to accelerate action,” said the representative of Morocco as she introduced “L.78.”  

She noted that every year, roughly 1.2 million people die because of a road accident.  For its part, her country has launched a new strategy for 2016-2026 and created the National Agency for Road Safety in 2018 to reduce such deaths.  

Noting that the upcoming 2025 conference in her country will be “the first of its kind on the African continent”, she said that special attention will be given to Africa where road accident deaths increased by 15 per cent from 2010 to 2021. 

“Road safety is a development issue,” said the representative of Angola, noting that such accidents affect gross domestic product (GDP).  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.6 aims to reduce the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.  It is also essential to pay attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, including women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons, he stressed.

He added that his country has taken several initiatives to lower mortality rates caused by road accidents, approving a national road safety plan for 2023-2027 in line with regional, continental and international recommendations.

The representative of the Russian Federation noted the role of the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Moscow in 2009, which brought together delegates from 150 States.  He said that the Moscow Declaration adopted then led to the establishment of the first Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, expressing support for the second Decade of Action. 

He said that targeted steps undertaken by the global community have generated positive results, with 10 countries — Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Denmark, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, the Russian Federation, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela — achieving a 50 per cent reduction between 2010 and 2021.  In another 35 countries, a 30-50 per cent reduction in mortality has been achieved. 

The representative of Ukraine said that his Government has put in place a strategy for improving road safety through a multifaceted approach focusing on improving road infrastructure, enforcing traffic laws, enhancing driver education and other initiatives.  However, this has been severely undermined “by the Russian troops invading Ukraine and using Ukrainian roads for their offensive attempts”, he said. 

He said that heavy artillery and missiles have targeted Ukraine’s infrastructure, and “thousands of kilometres of roads and hundreds of bridges have been destroyed or damaged” since the start of the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.  “How can we speak about road safety in cities without roads?” he asked, adding that unfortunately, this seems to be the case in many Ukrainian cities and towns along the country’s frontline territory. 

In the exercise of the right of reply, the representative of the Russian Federation expressed regret that his counterpart from Ukraine has once again “politicized this unifying agenda item”,, stressing that in 2014, the Ukrainian authorities began the war against their Russian-speaking people and the infrastructure of their regions.  “It is also telling” that the Ukrainian delegation didn’t even participate in the negotiations on this resolution, he added.

For information media. Not an official record.