Monday, 4 November 2013

UN Secretary General warns of Decade funding gap

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Photo Copyright: UN
Governments must do more to meet their commitment to the Decade of Action if it is to achieve its objectives, according to a new report issued by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

In his review of progress in the Decade of Action 'Improving Global Road Safety', issued to the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General calls for more attention to be given to financing the Decade of Action. He also urges the UN to recognise that in the context of planning the new Post-2015 Development Goals, the lack of road safety is an “important obstacle to sustainable development.”

In his report, Ban Ki-moon warns: “Financial support in the field of road safety continues to be a challenge to the attainment of the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety. More funding is needed to support road safety activities by United Nations organizations, Member States and civil society.” The report says that far more support is needed to achieve the goal of saving 5 million lives during the 2011-2020 period of the Decade of Action. UN Member States should develop “more sustainable financing mechanisms for road safety”, the report urges.

In stressing the need for further funding, the report echoes the recommendations of the Commission for Global Road Safety made earlier this year, in its key report ‘Safe Roads for All: A Post-2015 Agenda for Health and Development’. The UN Secretary General notes the Commission’s call to include a road safety target in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

In his report Ban Ki-moon says that “in the context of the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda”, the UN General Assembly should “recognise the lack of road safety as an important obstacle to sustainable development.” This follows the UN Secretary General’s main report on the post-2015 development agenda, ‘A Life of Dignity for All’, where he includes road safety in a recommended post-2015 health goal.

The report also underscores the Long Short Walk as providing the “cornerstone” of advocacy events during UN Global Road Safety Week earlier in 2013. The Long Short Walk is the worldwide campaign organised by Make Roads Safe, the FIA Foundation's Road Safety Fund and the Zenani Mandela campaign to call for road safety to be included in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda.

The report notes vital donor and philanthropic support for the Decade which has already succeeded in assisting successful interventions proven to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low and middle income countries. Key support includes donor funding and grants via the Bloomberg ‘Road Safety in 10 Countries’ programme, the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility, the FIA Foundation and the Road Safety Fund. The UN Secretary General's review also highlights the contribution of a number of the Fund's partners, including iRAP, Global NCAP, AIP Foundation and Amend, and notes that "with support from the Road Safety Fund, and specifically donors Allianz and Bosch, as part of the Global Road Safety Week 2013, small grants were made to 40 NGOs through a competitive application process. These NGOs promoted and advocated for pedestrian safety worldwide via public walks, media campaigns and other activities".

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