April 15, 2004 – United Nations Stakeholder Meeting, New York City

THE STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM FOR GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY

To complement the General Assembly plenary session in which only member states can participate, a separate stakeholders’ meeting was held with over 100 participants from across the globe. Panel members were invited to speak on behalf of governments (public health, transportation and finance sectors), civil society (health and non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, researchers), and the private sector. They addressed issues highlighted in the recently released World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention and strategies for addressing the crisis from a multi-sectoral perspective. This historic UN meeting was held in the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations.
Ambassador Al-Hinai (far left) expressed appreciation for all of those who traveled from across the world to convene at the UN and focus on action. “This Stakeholders’ Forum,” he said, “is particularly important to mobilize all sectors of society because governments alone cannot realize progress on road safety. Governments, civil society, and the private sector must come together to learn from each other and to establish and disseminate best practices.”
Dr. Mark Rosenberg (right) of The Task Force for Child Survival and Development challenged the group to consider what kind of ancestors our generation will be to the coming generations, and drew a comparison to the AIDS crisis: “We missed one of the biggest public health disasters of our lifetime, will we miss another?”
Dr. Bruce Browner (left) of the Bone and Joint Decade gave an account of the origins of these UN meetings on road safety. He discussed the need for long-term, sustainable strategies. He also described a personal awakening, “I thought I understood the issues of road safety because I had spent years in hospitals taking care of injured patients and helping them recover. When I became involved in global efforts, I had my eyes opened and realized that I really didn’t understand the issues at all. …We [surgeons] must come out of the operating room and clinic to join others in advocacy.”