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First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

Because a staggering 1,3 million people die in road accidents every year world-wide and 50 million are injured and often disabled, the United Nations (UN) has pledged its support for the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Moscow later this month.

It is estimated that the death toll would have doubled by the year 2020 this is why efforts are being made to tackle road safety issues before the situation gets deteriorates even further.

Discussions about road safety have taken place for many years but have never happened on a global level with the support of the UN. This is a historic event for all those involved in making roads safer.

The aim of the conference is to find ways to drastically reduce the high mortality rate on world roads. Transport Ministers from all over the world, responsible for road safety will be attending the conference to make key decisions on global road safety and to adopt the UN Moscow declaration.

"The current death rate is too high. It means that one person dies on the worlds' roads every three minutes and urgent action needs to be taken," said the AASA.

"The situation has become desperate and countries can't solve this problem by themselves with their national programmes. There needs to be a joint effort from all the countries in order to bring the number of fatalities on the roads down," the  AASA  added.

"The year 2009 will mark the transition from individual, regional and national programmes on traffic safety to a global one that will take into account particularities of different countries and best world experience. We are facing the challenge of global road safety for the first time and we will be best able to cope with it if we work together," said Rashid Nurgaliev, Interior Minister of the Russian Federation.

The conference will be broadly consultative and there will be plenary sessions followed by panel discussions about issues such as partnerships for road safety, further actions in improving road safety, safe vehicles as well as best practices in road safety.

"The conference is a step in the right direction and with South Africa being a signatory to the UN Declaration, the AA will work with government to help implement the Decade of Action for a 50% reduction in road crashes." said the AASA.

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