From 9 to 13 April 2019, the Global Alliance of NGOs advocating for Road Safety in collaboration with Make Roads Safe Hellas organized in Chania, Crete, the sixth global meeting of NGOs advocating for road safety and road victims.

Every year, 1.35 million people are killed on the roads around the world and many more are seriously injured. Road deaths are currently the 8th leading cause of death worldwide. It is a “silent” epidemic affecting public health, economic growth and climate change. Greece holds one of the worst performing countries on road safety in the EU28, having the highest number of motorcyclists fatalities rate. In particular, according to the official statistics, motorcyclists’ fatalities account for 34.3% of the total road fatalities in the country. It is estimated that the economic and social impact of road accidents and injuries in Greece costs the economy more than 3 billion euros yearly.

The Sixth Global Meeting was held at the Avra Imperial Hotel in Kolymbari, Chania, and hosted participants from 150 NGOs from all over the world. It included public events as well as seminars on road safety education, campaigns and other topics related to improving road safety and sustainable mobility.

The Sixth Global Meeting was officially launched on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 by Mr Jean Todt, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Road Safety. A poster exhibition followed, where participating NGOs presented their recent activities as well as good practices to improve road safety.

On Thursday, April 11th, Make Roads Safe Hellas and the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) organized a workshop on Road Safety and Responsible Tourism. The workshop presented a study on international tourism and road safety in Greece as well as the results of a survey on international tourists’ perceptions of road safety and mobility in Athens, Thessaloniki and Chania. The study was jointly implemented by Make Roads Safe Hellas and EASST, the National Technical University of Athens, the University of Macedonia, the University of the Aegean and the Hellenic Open University. A round table discussion followed and an official Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation on Road Safety and Responsible Tourism was signed with the participation of representatives of local, national and global organizations from the tourism and road safety sector.

On Friday, April 12th, the Mayor of Chania, Mr. Anastasios Vamvoukas, opened the Summit Symposium on Road Safety, which was hosted by the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety and the Towards Zero Foundation. The Symposium was supported by high level representatives of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and the World Bank. The Symposium presented the review of the UN decade of action on road safety (2011-2020) as well as the revised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Symposium concluded with the FedEx Global Road Safety Awards.

On the same day, Mr. Anastasios Vamvoukas, Mayor of Chania and FedEx Express hosted a reception in Arsenali (old port of Chania) and launched a photography exhibition on road safety entitled “From Global Commitment to Local Action”.

The Sixth Global Meeting also supported the 27th Meeting of the United Nations Cooperation on Road Safety (UNRSC) on 10 and 11 April, which was under the auspices of the World Health Organization and hosted a meeting of the Steering Committee for the Third World Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in 2020.