NGO Road Safety Alliance meets in Malaysia
More than 200 NGOs have come together in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the Global Meeting of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, with advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goal road safety targets high on the agenda.
The meeting was hosted by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), and the World Health Organization. The FIA Foundation provided funding support for the event, together with FedEx and the World Bank.
Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia’s Minister of Transport, was the keynote speaker, and described the efforts Malaysia is taking to reduce road traffic injuries. In his speech the minister highlighted life-saving initiatives – iRAP and ASEAN NCAP – supported by the FIA Foundation, and committed to reporting on road safety when Malaysia submits its SDG progress report to the UN’s High Level Political Forum in July this year.
The FIA Foundation’s Executive Director, Saul Billingsley, joined Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai in a plenary panel which also included Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety; Dr. Etienne Krug, Director, Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, WHO; Marc Shotten, Program Manager, Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) , World Bank; and Jeffrey Witte, President of the Global Alliance.
In his speech, Saul Billingsley described the NGO Alliance as ‘the conscience of the movement’ and urged members not to compromise in pushing governments and others to meet their SDG obligations. He said: “You can sense there is real momentum and commitment here to halve road deaths. Can we achieve it? Only if the governments that signed up to the SDG target put their money where their mouth is. So NGOs have a vital role to play in holding leaders to account, and ensuring there is focus and real delivery on safe infrastructure, minimum vehicle standards, reducing speed and ensuring safe school journeys, and enforcing the laws we know can save lives: drink driving, motorbike helmets, seat belts.”
The Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility hosted a session on safe and healthy journeys to school during the conference, with speakers from the coalition from AIP Foundation, Amend, World Resources Institute and the FIA Foundation. Avi Silverman, who is coordinating the UNICEF Global Child Road Traffic Injury Programme as part of the child health initiative, also updated the conference on progress during a plenary. Other FIA Foundation partners active at the conference included representatives from EASST, iRAP, Global NCAP, Gonzalo Rodriguez Foundation and the FIA, which presented the new #3500Lives global advertising campaign.