Over the last decade injury prevention has made great strides. Governments are starting to take some actions; the importance of the problem and the potential for prevention are increasingly recognised; the evidence on effectiveness of interventions is steadily being developed and implemented. All areas of injury prevention have made progress, but some more than others. The progress has been particularly striking in road safety, where in a few years, international consensus emerged, a global multi-sectoral alliance was created, governments started taking action and civil society organisations grew stronger, a first status report was developed, major funding was pledged and a Decade of Action was declared by the United Nations. Are there lessons to be learned from this area for other parts of the field? How can we best position the injury field in these times of economic crisis when attention to other important health problems is also needed? What are some of the main challenges and emerging issues we face? What areas of our work can be strengthened internationally? For its part, the World Health Organization will continue its efforts, focusing particularly on supporting the development of prevention programmes and trauma care at a national and local level and building capacity. It will support multisectoral partnerships in view of sharing best practices and advocating for more action. How can the international violence and injury prevention community collaborate more to continue increasing attention and action to address some of the challenges we face? This plenary address will provide some reflections on the above questions and hopefully stimulate discussion.
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