One UN vision for road safety


Why the UN Road Safety Strategy is important to UNDSS?

Road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and serious injury to United Nations personnel. Road traffic crashes involving UN vehicles are also a cause of fatalities and serious injuries in the communities we serve. In line with the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) and SDG 3.6, the objective of the Strategy is to reduce the number of road crashes by 50 per cent by 2030.

For the first time a multi-sectoral and holistic approach to road safety management has been implemented in the UN. The Strategy manages the interaction between speed, vehicles, road-user behaviour and road infrastructure. The five pillars of the Strategy - road safety management, safer vehicles, safer road users, post-crash response, and safer driving environments — has proven to achieve a comprehensive view of road safety in the UN while providing a conceptual framework to our road safety work.

Since the Strategy was launched in 2019, it has contributed to the efforts to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from road traffic crashes.

Areal view of a busy street in Nairobi.

Traffic on the busy streets of Nairobi ©FIA Foundation

UNGA adopts new resolution on improving global road safety

The UN General Assembly (GA) adopted a new resolution (A/74/299) on road safety on 31 August 2020. The GA recognizes the role of the Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in implementing the UN Road Safety Strategy for reducing road traffic crashes and fatalities.

Paragraph 32 notes [the General Assembly] "welcomes the measures taken by the Secretary-General, the organizations of the United Nations system and the Department of Safety and Security of the Secretariat to enhance road safety through the implementation of the United Nations system road safety strategy so as to reduce road traffic crashes and casualties resulting from such incidents among United Nations personnel and the civilian population in host countries."

The resolution also includes the following key provisions:

  • endorses the Stockholm Declaration;
  • proclaims a Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 – 2030, with a goal to reduce deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030 -- an adjustment to the target date for Sustainable Development Goal 3.6;
  • requests for the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN-system and other stakeholders to prepare a plan of action for the Second Decade; and
  • agrees to convene a high-level meeting of the UNGA on road safety no later than the end of 2022.

The Division of Specialized Operational Support in UNDSS will continue to lead on road safety management initiatives in support of the objective of the strategy, the new resolution and the strategic vision of the Department.

For more information on the road safety programme, contact:

Road safety launch

On 28 February 2019, the UN Road Safety Strategy was launched in New York and Geneva. More than 250 participants from the UN-system, Member States, civil society, philanthropic organizations, academia and the private sector attended the launch at UNHQ. UN leaders from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), the UN Department for Operational Support (DOS), the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO), the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Medical Director’s Working Group, the Chef de Cabinet and the SG’s Special Envoy on Road Safety showed unity and shared a consistent message on the importance and urgency of road safety across the UN. Their personal anecdotes helped engage the audience. New road safety campaign materials were created, including branding, flyers and two road safety films, for outreach on the UN Road Safety Strategy. The New York launch broke new ground by introducing elements not typically seen in UN meetings; including an interactive quiz, staff testimonials and the sharing of external best practices.

Safer journeys... begin with us #roadtosafety


Launch of the UN Road Safety Strategy: A Partnership for Safer Journeys

Jean Todt (Special Envoy on Road Safety) on the Launch of the UN Road Safety Strategy

Mission Possible: A UN wide Road Safety Strategy to curb road crashes amongst UN personnel

Turning the Tide: UN Leaders commit to road safety with a coordinated UN wide road safety strategy

UN Habitat Message: Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif