|A Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020|
Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director welcomed the representatives gathered at PAHO from 80 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from over 50 countries, highlighting the tremendous respect and sympathy for those who took their personal tragedies and turned them into such positive contributions to their communities and societies for the benefit of all of us.
Statement of Dr Mirta Roses Periago
Second Global Meeting of NGOs
Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims
14 March 2011
Welcome to the Second Global Meeting of NGOs Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is pleased to be hosting this global meeting, and warmly welcomes the representatives gathered here today from 80 NGOs from more than 50 countries.
I have a tremendous respect and sympathy for those of you who took your personal tragedies and turned them into such positive contributions to your communities and societies for the benefit of all of us.
Road safety is a crucial issue, and besides our best efforts, deserves our absolute attention. It is a health and development concern which touches all of us in some way. We can all contribute in meaningful ways to preventing deaths and injuries on our roads.
Governments may take the lead in developing prevention policies and programmes and other responses, and NGOs have a vital role to play. NGOs have been active on many fronts, ranging from supporting victims of road traffic crashes to organizing street demonstrations and other public events, and to reaching out to young people in bars and nightclubs to warn them of the dangers of drinking and driving.
It could be that the most important role NGOs like yours may have is in advocacy. The advocacy efforts in which NGOs excel can ultimately increase attention to road safety generally; garner the necessary political will to spur action; and generate a demand for road safety from the public.
This global meeting is timely, as it will allow you to organize yourselves as a community in advance of the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 on 11 May 2011.
Here in the Americas we are contributing to preparations for ceremonies in countries across the Region: from Argentina and Venezuela to Ecuador and Brazil. In Peru an important subregional ministerial summit is taking place at this precise moment. In Mexico another important regional summit will occur in the days following the global launch, and this will give us yet another opportunity to reinforce a renewed impetus in favour of road safety across the Region.
We trust that representatives from many of the NGOs gathered in this room will contribute significantly to the events being planned.
We hope these events will include release of national plans for the Decade during high-profile events involving heads of state, ministers, victims and their families. We also hope that these ceremonies will be widely broadcast through various media, and that the road safety tag - the new symbol for road safety and the key visual for the Decade - will be projected on national landmarks in many countries.
It is my hope that the Decade will achieve its goal of saving millions of lives in the years ahead.
I wish you a productive and enjoyable meeting, and look forward to receiving the outcomes of your discussions over the next couple of days.
The Second Global Meeting of Nongovernmental Organizations Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims met at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for a global meeting organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). NGOs exchanged knowledge on how to advocate for safer roads and take steps toward creating a global alliance to support the launch and implementation of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The decade of action provides a framework for countries to improve road safety and save millions of lives over the next 10 years. It will be launched globally on 11 May 2011.
The Second Global Meeting of Nongovernmental Organizations Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims spotlighted initiatives from NGOs from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Tanzania, the United States, and Mexico, among others.
For more information, contact Office of the Director, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization