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The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, has called for for countries to back a new UN Road Safety Fund.

Speaking at a side event to the annual UN High Level Political Forum in New York, Jean Todt (pictured right) said 64,000 lives could be saved and 640,000 serious injuries could be prevented by a Road Safety Fund, which is currently in a draft proposal status. This was based on every US$100 million donation to the fund leveraging US$3.4 billion of country and city road safety investment. Approximately US$770 million would need to be invested in the fund annually to reduce fatalities by 50% over the next 10 years.

Rob McInerney said: ‘A UN Road Safety Fund would transform the prospects for delivering the Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 of halving global road deaths and injuries. It would give the road safety crisis a similar level of political attention and financial support as other critical development issues such as environmental protection and action to address AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis which currently benefit from the scale possible through UN funds.’

Keynote address

Jean Todt’s speech was the keynote address at an event entitled ‘The role of safe and sustainable mobility in eradicating poverty and improving health’. The event, which was hosted by the FIA Foundation and convened by, among others, the Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility and the G4 Alliance, was attended by 130 global stakeholders.

Progress on achieving SDG 3.6 was reviewed during the week long High Level Political Forum, along with other Sustainable Development Goals. The review noted that although road deaths in 2013 had increased by 13 per cent since 2000 the rise was small relative to the increase in the number of vehicles on the road. This “pointed to the effectiveness of interventions to improve global road safety”.

The FIA Foundation Executive Director, Saul Billingsley , said, during the side event, that the scale of road traffic injury was a ‘Public emergency. We should set our ambition to meet the SDG 3.6 by 2020 but if we can’t then the target should be extended and the work continued in line with the other SDGs.’

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