Following United Nations General Assembly resolutions 74/299 and 75/308, the first ever United Nations High Level Meeting on Road Safety saw Heads of State, Ministers, Department Secretaries, and Member States’ representatives from Permanent Missions to the United Nations as well as Non-Government Organisations and stakeholders from around the world meeting together in New York to discuss road safety issues and how to progress the Global Plan for the Second Decade of Action on Road Safety. In his opening statement, Adbulla Shahid, President of the UN General Assembly had 5 core messages – no deaths on our streets are acceptable; the Global Plan is key to reducing deaths and boosting development; this High-Level Meeting could mark a critical juncture to address the issue of global road safety; transformative leadership and good governance are key; and everyone has a role to play.
The meeting resulted in a Political Declaration which calls for national strategies and targets and implementation of the Safe System but does not mention the 50% reduction by 2030 target for serious injuries. Compared with the resolution from 2020 proclaiming the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, the wording on national government funding is less explicit, and mentions of multi-sectorial collaboration, youth and victim organisations are missing. It provides for progress reports in September 2023 and 2025, and a second high-level meeting in 2026.
ACRS received Special Accreditation to attend the High Level Meeting, and was represented in New York by CEO Ingrid Johnston. We were one of only two NGOs from the Australasian region at the meeting, along with ANCAP. Neither the Australian or New Zealand Federal governments were represented at the meeting.