BRASILIA: The Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Castro said that it is important that all countries show commitment to road safety after Thursday’s adopted Brasilia Declaration, in an interview with The Cairo Post.
Castro added that road safety is a key issue for developing countries like Egypt, India and Brazil.
In his closing remarks at the end of the 2nd global road safety conference held in Brasilia, Castro said that the participating state leaders have “homework to do” after they arrive in their countries, including monitoring the indications of road safety.
He also noted that the declaration aims to raise awareness of risks, protection of road users as well as offer rehabilitation to victims.
Before the declaration was validated by many countries, there have been at least two intergovernmental excessive meetings to set the draft.
Commenting on the Brasilia Declaration, the Moroccan Minister of Transport Mohamed Bouleff said he hoped that the Arab League focus on road safety as a pillar of the annual agenda, and to draft a regional scheme for it.
Bouleff told The Cairo Post that the Arabic presence at the conference was mostly not high-level, which led to many issues not being tackled properly.
Egypt was not officially represented at the conference, which was held for the second time in history after the first time was in Russia in 2009. Egypt is one of 10 states enrolled in the Decade of Action program.
The declaration is the “plan for the beginning of applying road safety measures” around the world, but “the challenge remains for implementation,” Hala Sakr, the World Health Organization’s regional Advisor for Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, told The Cairo Post.
She also noted that the goals of the declaration are complementary to the Decade of Action program (2011-2020,) which aims to halve the number of deaths due to traffic crashes around the world by 50 percent.
So far, the rate of road deaths is stable, recording 1.2 million per year, which Sakr found as “positive indication” explaining that the number should be considered in the context of the increasing population and the number of vehicles in the streets.
At the end of the conference, Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said “Time for action is now,” adding that in the next five years, countries should work collaboratively to reach the target of road safety.
Some 1,500 representatives of governments, NGOs and United Nations envoys participated in the 2nd high level global road safety conference over the past two days.