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|First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety | 23-11-2009|
|الإثنين, 23 تشرين2/نوفمبر 2009 08:08|
In response to pressure by various national, regional and non-governmental Organisation to publicise and politicise the rising deaths on roads world-wide, the United Nation has accepted the moral and political responsibility for championing the awareness and enabling international declaration roads safety.
At the invitation of the UN, the UAE Federal Government attended the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety that was held in Moscow, the Russian Federation, on the 19-20 November 2009. The UAE Government delegation was headed by HE Abdulla Salem Alkatheeri, the Executive Director of Land Transport Sector of the National Transport Authority (NTA). HE Abdulla Alkatheeri stated that “ from the outset, our aim for attending this strategic conference was to compare and contrast how the UAE was tackling road safety in relation to international best practice, and learn how we could improve our roads safety to save lives and make the UAE roads safer for users”. HE Abdulla Alkatheeri added that in order for the UAE to succeed in achieving its aims “it was essential that key governmental agencies and departments such as the Ministry of Interior, Traffic Police, Ministry of Health, Local transport Authorities, and the Islamic Committee for roads safety representatives be part of our delegation as these bodies play a vital part in tackling roads safety in our country”
The Moscow Conference was addressed by the Russian Federation president Dmitry Medvedev in the presence of over 1200 participants including international ministers of transports, deputy ministers, heads of safety commissions, and representatives from the vehicle manufacturing Industry. The UAE delegation held various bilateral discussions with USA, UK, German, and Belgium transport officials and ministers and agreed on common efforts to fight and confront the road safety problem and make the world’s roads safer, the UAE delegation gave support for the UN Moscow Declaration on road safety.
According to UN figures, 1.3 million people lose their lives on the roads each year worldwide, and up to 50million are injured and often disabled. Clearly this is a pandemic that can not be ignored, otherwise the problem could worsen and using roads become life threatening activity.
The Moscow Conference held seven workshops on road safety chaired by international experts, the workshops included Partnership for Road Safety, Policy Frameworks for road Safety, Health Sector Contribution to road safety, Safe road users, Safe road Infrastructure, Safe Vehicles, and Data for road safety. HE Abdulla Alkatheeri commented that “ road safety is a multi-sectored challenge that requires partnership for road safety with key stakeholders including Civil Society, Traffic Police, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Local Transport Authorities and NGO. In the UAE, we are striving to meet those challenges and we are working closely with the relevant authorities to deliver the desired safety standard on the UAE roads”
The conference ended on the 20th November 2009 with unanimous declaration known as the Moscow declaration on road safety. The key objectives of the declarations were as follows:
a) Prevention of road traffic injuries in accordance with World Bank recommendations;
b) Reinforce governmental leadership and strengthening lead agencies responsible for national roads;
c) Set realistic national road traffic causality reduction targets that are linked to investments and policy initiatives on safety;
d) Make particular effort to develop policies and infrastructure solutions to protect road users
e) Encourage organisations to contribute actively to improving road safety;
f) Encourage alternative forms of transport
g) Promote harmonisation of road safety and vehicle safety regulations and good practice
h) Strengthen existing legislation on vehicle registration and licensing using appropriate international standards;
i) Encourage collaborative actions between relevant entities
j) Improve national data collection
k) Strengthen the provision of hospitalisation, trauma care, and social integration of road crash victims.
Given the nature of the road safety challenges, and seeing firsthand the global nature of the problem, the UAE delegation have learned many lessons and were committed to collaborate actively to improve road safety. HE Abdulla Alkatheeri stated that “ the NTA has already planned an extensive Rail Regulations and National Standards, we will now actively seek to design road regulations and National Standards based on international best practice and benchmarked against the best performers on road safety world-wide, this conference has given us the impetus to raise the road safety priority to higher levels, and we are convinced that safety is an investment; not cost”