Delivering the SDGs: the role of UN, Word Bank & other agencies
International Road Safety Organizations Demystified
Delivering the SDGs: the role of UN, Word Bank & other agencies
David Ward – TZF Senior Fellow
PACTS Members Meeting - 6 July 2017
UN Decade of Action for Road Safety
The Decade was recommended by the first
Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety
held in Moscow in 2009 and mandated by the
UN General Assembly in 2010. It was launched
in 2011 with the aim to ‘stabilize and then
reduce the level of road fatalities’.
The Decade is supported by a Global Plan with
five pillars of recommended actions for UN
1. Building Management Capacity
2. Encouraging Safer User Behaviour
3. Building Safer Vehicles
4. Building Safer Roads
5. Improving Post Crash Care
Progress with the Decade was reviewed at the 2nd
Global High Level Conference on Road Safety held
in Brasilia in 2015, and through bi-annual UN General
Assembly debates. The next is due in April 2018.
Road Safety & the Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015 a UN Summit adopted the Sustainable Development
Goals to be implemented by 2030. In contrast to the previous Millennium
Development Goals (2000-2015) road safety has been included in the
Goals for Health and Cities.
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
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient
11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and
sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety...
The SDGs and related targets are voluntary but universal and so are
applicable to all UN Member States. They are the UN’s strongest ever
road safety commitments.
SDG target requires 4X rate of improvement of UN Decade Goal
World Health Organisation Role in Global Road Safety
The World Health Organization is the UN’s lead agency for
road safety. See: http://www.who.int/roadsafety/en/
They chair the UN Road Safety Collaboration which co-
ordinates actives of the UN Decade, developed the Global
Plan, and brings together key road injury prevention
The WHO publishes the bi-annual Global Status Report on
Road Safety which provides country level data on road
injury and tracks compliance with keypolicy and legislative
This year they released the Save LIVES technical package
which promotes 6 components and 22 evidence based
measures to support the SDG road safety target 3.6.
The WHO organises the bi-annual UN Global Road Safety
Weeks held this year in May on the theme of speed
management. The next will be held in 2019.
UNECE Role in Global Road Safety
The UN Economic Commission for Europe is responsible
for the UN’s road safety related legal instruments (see:
http://www.unece.org/trans/welcome.html) such as the
1968 Conventions on Road Traffic & Road Signs & Signals,
and the 1958 & 1998 Agreements on Vehicle Regulations.
UN Member States that are Contracting Parties adopt and
amend these legal instruments through a series of working
parties. The most important are:
The Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP1) which
supervises the traffic conventions and promotes best
practices through non-binding policy recommendations.
The Global Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations
(WP29) which is responsible for international vehicle
standards for crash worthiness and avoidance.
The UNECE also hosts the UN Secretary General’s Special
Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt who is promoting wider
use of the UN legal instruments and creation of a UN Road
Safety Fund with an annual grant capacity of $770 million.
Multilateral Development Banks & Road Safety
The 7 major Multilateral Development Banks* are major
investors in road infrastructure in low & middle income
countries and increasingly active in road safety.
In 2006 the World Bank created a Global Road Safety
Facility and jointly the MDBs issued Road Safety Guide
Lines in 2014 to set a common framework for screening
their road investments.
The World Bank has also adopted a new safeguard
policy. The 2016 Environmental & Social Framework
includes road safety as a “core value of the institution”
and aims to ensure that feasible safety measures will be
incorporated into all the Bank’s road projects.
*African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank,
Development Bank of Latin America, European Bank for
Reconstruction & Development, European Investment
Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic
Development Bank and the World Bank.
OECD-International Transport Forum & Road Safety Policy
The OECD-International Transport Forum (ITF) carries out
research into best practices in road safety policy and is a
leading proponent of the ‘safe systems approach’. This
encourages a holistic strategy that promotes safe vehicles,
roads, and road users in a system that recognises the
probability of human error and vulnerability to injury.
Two important examples are the 2008 ‘Towards Zero’
report which advocated setting ambitious casualty
reduction targets and the ‘Zero Road Deaths and
Serious Injuries’ report which calls for a paradigm shift
in favour of a safe system.
The OECD-ITF also hosts the International Road Traffic
Accident Database which collects comparative data for
32 mainly high income countries and issues an annul
Road Safety Report.
The OECD-ITF hosts an annual Ministerial Summit in
Leipzig, Germany which next year (23-25 May) will take
Safety & Security as its major theme.
Commission for Global Road Safety 2006-2015
The Commission for Global Road Safety chaired by Lord
Robertson played a key role in promoting international action
to curb the rise in road traffic fatalities. In reports issued in
2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013 the Commission called for:
• A $300 million Action Plan and for the MDBs to act together to
improve the road safety impact of their road investments.
• The first ever Ministerial Conference on global road safety.
• A UN Decade of Action, a 50% casualty reduction target
supported by a ‘five pillar’ plan based on the ‘safe systems’
• The appointment of a UN Special Envoy for Road Safety.
• The inclusion of road safety in the UN’s post-2015 SDGs.
With these objectives secured the Commission was wound up
during the 2015 2nd
High Level Global Conference on Road
Safety held in Brasilia.
Global Network for Road Safety Legislators
The Global Network was launched in London last December to
serve as a platform for Parliamentarians to exchange best
practice in road safety policies and law making. It has a
Leadership Council of MPs from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin
America and North America, which is chaired by Barry
In May the Global Network launched its Manifesto
#4roadsafety which proposes ten recommendations for
parliamentarians worldwide in support of the Decade of
Action and the SDG’s target to halve road deaths by 2020.
The Manifesto endorses the WHO Save Lives package, the
Safe Systems approach, and promotes occupational road
safety, good governance in road injury prevention, funding for
road safety, and further mainstreaming of road safety with
sustainable transport and the best practices by the MDBs.
Finally the manifesto proposes the adoption of a new post
2020 target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
Global Road Safety Challenges
Despite having the strongest ever UN mandate for road
safety three major challenges need urgent action.
1) It is clear that the SDG target is unlikely to be achieved by
2020. Progress has at best flat lined.
2) Too few countries (particularly low and middle income)
apply effective road safety policies and legislation for the
main behavioural risk factors or apply minimum standards
for vehicle and road construction. Best practice in road injury
prevention still remains concentrated in high income
3) Funding for global road safety initiatives remains wholly
inadequate. With the notable exception of the Bloomberg
Philanthropies, the FIA Foundation and some official bilateral
donors (including the UK) resources at present are far below
the estimated $770 million per year required to achieve the
reductions in road fatalities and serious injuries envisaged by
The Towards Zero Foundation (TZF) is a UK registered charity working internationally to
encourage a world free from road fatalities. The TZF serves as platform for global road safety
co-operation and the application of the Safe System approach to road injury prevention.
The Patron of the TZF is HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The TZF’s Trustees are Rohit Baluja, Iain
Cameron. Kate McMahon, Max Mosley (Chairman) and Claes Tingvall.