New York (People’s Daily) – UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed announced the launch of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund today at a plenary meeting of the 72th session of UN General Assembly, which aims to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by revamping organization and funding efforts.
According to reports, an estimated 1.25 million people are killed every year in road traffic crashes, and up to 50 million more are injured, often seriously.
Road traffic deaths and injuries cause significant economic losses to individuals and societies, keeping millions of people in poverty and creating an estimated $1.85 trillion burden on the global economy each year. This makes addressing road safety one of the most pressing social, economic, health and development challenges.
The fund will focus on strengthening the capacity of government agencies, local governments and city authorities to develop and implement road safety programs, prioritizing projects in low and middle-income countries.
As a broad partnership that mobilizes expertise and resources across different sectors - including government authorities, civil society organizations, multilateral development banks, United Nations entities, other international organizations and academia – the fund will support a coordinated and holistic approach to improving global road safety.
“We have a chance to save the lives of millions of people around the world, and to prevent injuries, suffering and the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents,” Amina said, urging all stakeholders to contribute to the trust fund and to improve their efforts to achieve global road safety goals.
“The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund will serve as a catalyst for much-needed progress towards the road safety targets of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Olga Algayerova said.
Jean Todt, chairman of the International Automobile Federation and the UN road safety special envoy, stressed the importance of expanding resources to achieve global road safety goals.
During the same meeting, the UN General Assembly also adopted a resolution on road safety which called for a host of measures to prevent road accidents and minimize the resulting damage.
One of the measures, called for regulations to ensure that all new motor vehicles meet “applicable minimum regulations for the protection of occupants and other road users, with seat belts, airbags and active safety systems fitted as standard equipment.”
Top: Italian policemen are seen inspecting a car accident site on Aurelia high road in northern Rome in this July 21, 2007 file photo. Road traffic accidents are soaring in the developing world to become a major public health crisis as bad as infectious diseases because booming car ownership has not been matched by safety awareness. (Photo: Reuters/Max Rossi)