We, the undersigned members of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, have been looking forward to the High-Level Meeting on Global Road Safety, set to take place 30 June 2022–1 July 2022, with an equal sense of excitement and hope, and with the expectation that it could be a catalytic moment for real leadership, meaningful allocation of resources, and committed implementation of actions to meet the 2030 road safety target.
Increasingly, however, our optimism is being severely challenged.
For more than a decade, the Russian Federation has played a constructive leading role at the United Nations on the global road safety agenda. It is the lead facilitator of the Declaration for the High-level Meeting. However, the aggression initiated by the Russian Federation in Ukraine and subsequent UN and Member State sanctions against the Russian Federation causes us great concern regarding whether a successful Declaration can be constructively negotiated and therefore if the objective of the High-level Meeting to secure a decade of action and delivery can be successfully achieved.
In the current political context, the Russian Federation’s legitimacy to engage Member States in the constructive dialogue needed to achieve a meaningful Declaration draft has been seriously eroded. If Member States choose not to participate in the negotiations as a result of the Russian Federation’s facilitation role, as a number of them have already indicated, the powerful text and meeting outcome that is so critically needed to give momentum to the second Decade of Action will be tragically missed.
For the sake of the people who use the world’s roads and as civil society, academic, and corporate voices for road safety around the world, we call for the High-level Meeting to be postponed or for another Member State to replace the Russian Federation as facilitator.
We must find a way forward. Without it, we are concerned that the vital opportunity to make a real change for road safety that will save the lives of many thousands of people around the world every year may be missed.
Signed by the following members of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC)
Executive Director, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety
President, Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme
Executive Director, Amend
Head Global Injury, The George Institute for Global Health
Executive Director, YOURS
Executive Director, Association for Safe International Road Travel
President, Association for Safe International Road Travel
CEO, International Road Assessment Programme
Director General, EASST
Coordinator, FIRE AID and International Development
Jeanne Picard Mahaut
Sigrid de Vries
Secretary General, CLEPA
Geert van Waeg
President, International Federation of Pedestrians
Chair, International Road Victims’ Partnership
María Fernanda Rodríguez
President, Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez
Program Head- Injury, The George Institute for Global Health.
Gary A. Smith
President, Child Injury Prevention Alliance
Chair, World Rescue Organisation
CEO, Australasian College of Road Safety
Mary Williams OBE
Chief Executive, Brake
CEO, European Cyclists’ Federation
Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
Urban Mobility Acting Director, World Resources Institute (WRI)
Assistant Research Professor & Associate Director, Center on Commercial Determinants of Health, GWSPH
Executive President, Towards Zero Foundation
Executive Director, FIA Foundation