PIARC took part in the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

19-20 February 2020, Stockholm (Sweden)

The Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, organised by the United Nations and the Swedish government, was attended by more than 1,700 delegates from over 140 countries, including 80 ministers or deputy ministers.

The United Nations and the Swedish government organised the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety on 19-20 February 2020 in Stockholm. Indeed, it must be acknowledged that the situation remains grim: the annual number of deaths on the roads has reached 1.35 million in 2018, and road accidents are now the leading cause of death among people aged 5-29. The King of Sweden, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, opened the conference, which was attended by more than 1,700 delegates from over 140 countries, including 80 ministers or deputy ministers. The objective was to determine the outcome of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and to identify progress avenues for the next ten years. International organizations such as the International Transport Forum, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union, companies such as Michelin and Volvo, and numerous NGOs also shared their experiences and ambitions. In particular, the organisers presented a "Stockhom Declaration", which marks a step towards further work at the UN level.

In this very fertile context, Claude Van Rooten, President of PIARC, led a session dedicated to road engineering. IRF, iRAP, Polis, UN Habitat and the Ugandan Minister of Public Works and Transport were the panellists, and exchanges with the audience were extensive. "What are the optimal speeds?", "How can interventions be prioritised?", "Are solutions always replicable from one country to another?", "How to design roads that are forgiving?", "How to take advantage of increasing urbanization?"... Many of these topics are already covered in PIARC reports or in the Association online manual. Patrick Malléjacq, Secretary General, is now in charge of preparing the official conclusions of this session.

The conference was also an opportunity to participate in a workshop of the iRAP organisation, to meet the Swedish members of TrafikVerket, including Lena Erixon, Executive Committee member and driving force behind the conference, Agneta Wargsjö, member of the Strategic Planning Commission, and Annelie Nylander, Director of Strategy, and to meet many of PIARC's international colleagues and partners. The UK Department for International Development (DFID), with whom PIARC is working on several projects, has published on time for the conference a new awareness raising brochure, entitled "Safe Roads Matter", which PIARC co-signed.

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