Jul 10, 2009, 9:07 AM
The young people are paying too high a price for mobility, says Hon Ousman Conteh, the Speaker of the Banjul Youth Parliament of the National Youth Parliament.
Honourable Conteh was among one of 20 young road safety leaders who participated in the First Global Ministerial Conference on road safety in Moscow last week, where he made these remarks.
From 19-20 November 2009, the government of the Russian Federation hosted the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, attended by as many as 1000 government Ministers, representatives of UN agencies, officials from civil society organisations, leaders of private companies and many other road safety experts.
YOURS's-Youth for Road Safety was asked to organise a youth meeting on road safety, the day before the ministerial conference. The youth meeting brought together 20 young people from the 6 continents and was attended by high dignitaries from the Russian federation, Michelin, FIA and WHO.
The participants of the meeting had adopted a youth declaration for road safety, says Hon Conteh, urging all players in the field of road safety to keep in mind that the victims of road crashes, especially all the young people to join YOURS in its efforts to change the current situation.
This declaration was presented to all attendants of the Ministerial Conference during the opening ceremony of the ministerial conference, Conteh stated. Hon. Conteh, speaking to Youth Forum upon his return shared the outcome of the event with us.
"It is time for young people to be part of the solution to the road safety problem and not contributors to it," said the youth speaker who represented The Gambia at this historic event.
"We have therefore adopted the Youth Declaration Moscow with specific actions that governments and other stakeholders can take to make young people safer on the roads," he stated.
"Not only that, the young activists made their voice heard during the opening session of the ministerial conference. They declared the youth's commitment to have a significant role in the proposed Decade of Action for Road Safety. We also announced the launch of YOURS- Youth for Road Safety, the first- ever global youth road organisation for road safety, as a direct recommendation of 2007 World Youth Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland. YOURS is a Unique Global youth led organisation that acts to keep young people safe on the world's roads
"Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death of youth under 25 years. Young people under 25 years represent almost 40% of the victims of road traffic injuries. Annually, around 400,000 young lives are lost. The global youth movement for road safety started in 2007 with the first-ever World Youth Assembly during the First UN Global Road Safety Week.
In conclusion, therefore I urge the government of The Gambia to establish a National Road Safety Commission and also formulate National Road Safety Strategy", he said.
He said in the strategy a number of key public and private sector together with civil society organisations will be tasked to play a proactive role.