Annals of Health Law
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
multi-sectorial mechanism for addressing the “global road safety crisis.”75 In
“recognizing the global public health and development burden resulting from
road traffic crashes . . . ,”76 U.N. Resolution A/64/255 invites Member States
to implement a range of measures aimed at reversing the overall upward trend
of road-related fatalities. It represents, as eloquently summarized by the
Prime Minister of Australia, Ms. Julia Gillard, “a turning point for global
road safety . . .”77 The WHO anticipates that as many as five million lives
will be saved between 2011 and 2020 as a result of the initiative.78
The genesis behind the General Assembly’s mandate may be traced back
to 1999, with the publication of the World Disasters Report,79 which advised
of the fundamental role that road infrastructure has in reducing the number
of people impacted by disasters.80 The formation of the Global Road Safety
Partnership (“GRSP”) in 1999, supported by the World Bank, appears to have
been another stepping stone.81 The issue was formally brought to the
attention of the U.N. General Assembly through two Special Resolutions on
road safety, specifically U.N. General Assembly Resolution A/RES/57/309 on
the global road safety crisis (May, 2003)82 and U.N. General Assembly
Resolution A/RES/58/289 on improving global road safety (May, 2004).83
Successive events,84 including, for example, the First United National Global
Road Safety Week (2007),85 continued to draw attention to the pressing
issue.86 It was not, however, until the First Global Ministerial Conference
on Road Safety (2009) (“Ministerial Conference”) that the road safety agenda
appears to have been finally propelled from a national problem to a global
75. G. A. Res. 64/255, U.N. GAOR, 64th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/255 (May 10, 2010).
76. Id. at pmbl.
77. WHO DECADE OF AC TION GLOBAL LAUNCH, supra note 1, at page following the cover.
78. United National Road Safety Collaboration, WHO, http://www.who.int/
roadsafety/en/ (last visited Mar. 19, 2013).
79. See INTERNATIONALFEDERATION OFREDCROSS ANDREDCRESCENTSOCIETIES,
WORLD DISASTERS REPORT 2009: FOCUS ON EARLY WARNING, EARLY ACTION 69-70 (2009),
available at http://www.ifrc.org/Global/WDR2009-full.pdf.
80. Id. at 18, 22, 62.
81. COMM’N FOR GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY, PROGRESS REPORT 2006-2008 26 (2009). David
Ward, Director General of the FIA Foundation, First Global Ministerial Conference on Road
Safety, Speech to the Closing Plenary on the Decade of Action (Nov. 20, 2009).
82. G. A. Res 57/309, U.N. GAOR, 57th Sess., Doc. A/57/L.77 and Add. 1 (May 29,
83. G. A. Res 58/289, U.N. GAOR, 58th Sess., Doc. A/58/L.60/Rev.1 and Add. 1 (May
84. Ward, supra note 81.
85. WHO, YOUTH DECLARATION FOR ROAD SAFETY, (2007), available at http://www.