On 28th September 2012, 2011 Eurovision Song Contest champion and EASST Celebrity Ambassador “Nikki” and EASST Director Emma MacLennan were invited to address the annual International Road Safety Congress at the Tavricheskiy Palace in St Petersburg. The congress on “Road Safety for the Safety of Life” was organised by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The Congress included road safety experts from across the region and the EU, who exchanged experience on improving legislation, developing national road safety strategies and strengthening law enforcement.

Nigar Jamal with David Ward, Director General, FIA Foundation and General Viktor Kiryanov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Russian Federation

Speaking on the ‘Civil Society and Road Safety’ panel, Nikki shared with the congress participants her personal motivations for supporting EASST and the UN Decade of Action:

“As a mother of two, road safety is a cause I feel passionate about. I want to see much more done to protect children on our roads especially given that road crashes are the biggest killer of young people worldwide. I want to help reverse this shocking trend and hope to use my music to influence and reach young people who may not be receiving key road safety messages by other means.”

Nikki also provided guests with a preview of her latest music video “Can’t Let You Go”, funded by EASST, which delivers a road safety message to Nikki’s fans – highlighting the importance of seat belt use.  The song and video will be released later in 2012. Nikki was introduced to the congress by EASST Director, Emma MacLennan, who spoke of EASST’s successful work in the region highlighting the achievements of EASST partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine.

HAYAT’s Vusal RajabliNigar Jamal and Emma MacLennnan with Russian road safety cadets

Nikki was accompanied by EASST’s Azerbaijan partner, Vusal Rajabli of HAYAT, who is currently leading a seat belt awareness campaign in Azerbaijan. Details of Nikki’s new video will published on the EASST website in due course.