Achieving Global Goals
Every year, 1.35 million deaths occur on the world’s roads according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This makes road crashes the eighth leading cause of death. The goal for the UN is set to halve the number of deaths and injuries resulting from road traffic accidents between 2010 and 2020. To reduce the fatality rate, more investments in road safety are required.
In the beginning of 2020, the third global high-level conference on road safety was held in Stockholm, Sweden. It marked the conclusion of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and set a global agenda for the next decade.
Minister-led delegations from more than 80 countries attended, as well as representatives from the industry, the science community and international institutions and organizations.
Volvo Group was closely involved as a member of the High-level Consultative Committee for the conference, and several representatives from the company attended in various ways.
During the conference, Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt, together with Safety Director Peter Kronberg, Vice President Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Niklas Gustafsson and President & Managing Director for Volvo Group India Kamal Bali, hosted the launch ceremony of the bilateral Sweden Indian Transport Innovation and Safety (SITIS) partnership. This partnership is a concrete deliverable as a result of the Joint Declaration on Sweden‐India Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future between Sweden and India from April 2018. The mission is to leverage the know‐how of India and Sweden to accelerate progress and deployment of safe and sustainable transport solutions and actionable policies, contributing to significant progress of the Indian transport system.
Martin Lundstedt also had the honor of closing the high-level conference proceedings by speaking about the private sector’s role in making progress on road safety by 2030.
“As a representative of the private sector, I know we need to assume our share of the responsibility to shape the world we want to live in. We are now getting used to considering our environmental footprint. Not only as a must, but as a competitive advantage. But, even more can be done regarding road safety. It is clear to me that each of us need also to consider our global “safety footprint”. I am committed to ensure Volvo takes charge here.
As a society, our biggest obstacle is perhaps our courage to find and commit the necessary resources. At the end of the day, traffic safety is the product of a safe system, and we are all part of building this system. Together we can make sure that the global sustainability challenges are not just moral goals – they also become critical business objectives – so that we tap into the enormous power of competition and innovation. Together we can create arenas and means for cooperation between companies and societal actors. With the Stockholm declaration, a new target of halving fatalities by 2030, and the broad engagement here, I actually think we may have every reason to be optimistic! Together, we can accelerate progress; together we can achieve the global safety goal for 2030.”
Volvo Group was also a main partner for the second World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, which took place as an official pre-event of the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. The Assembly aimed to unite young people from (inter) governmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector from around the world, to further energize the global (youth) movement for road safety. Youth participants of the Assembly were empowered with new knowledge, skills and resources enabling them to map the ways they can take action in their countries through advocacy and campaigning. A bridge was built with current decision-makers, with a clear path of follow-up and future meaningful youth participation securing the next generation of leaders.
Volvo Group was represented in the assembly by five young safety ambassadors from India, Brazil, and China. They were chosen for their skills and engagement in safety issues. After the event they continue to be advocates for new ways to spread knowledge and take actions to increase road safety. The ambassadors’ work can be followed through Volvo Group social media channels.