Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you today.
Road traffic deaths and injuries have become a serious and urgent global concern.
Some 1.3 million drivers, passengers and pedestrians die each year and up to 50 million are injured on the world’s roads.
Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death of young people and are responsible for keeping millions of people in poverty each year.
Just in the past week, we have been reminded of the deeply distressing personal realities behind such statistics.
Tragic road accidents in Canada and India, to name but two, have left families and communities utterly distraught.
I would like to convey my sincere condolences to all affected by these events.
The draft resolution before you recognizes that the number of accidents globally “remains unacceptably high” and “that at the current rate of progress, the SDG target 3.6 to halve, by 2020, the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents will not be met.”
I thank the Russian Federation, as the main sponsor of the draft resolution, and all Member States, for highlighting this tragic and preventable situation and for setting out a series of steps to address it.
Looking ahead, it is important to recognize the projected increase in urbanization, motorization, infrastructure development and vehicle ownership around the world.
We must put in place measures to prevent road traffic fatalities and injuries continuing to take a rising toll.
The proposed Third Global Conference on Road Safety to take place in Sweden in 2020 can make an important contribution.
In addition, following this Assembly’s request to the Secretary-General, I am pleased to report that the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund has now been established to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals.
Reaching this point has involved a significant effort by many.
I thank the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt, for their commitment and leadership.
I would also like to thank other UN System partners, Member States, civil society and other stakeholders for their support, and I would like to acknowledge those private sector entities that have pledged initial contributions to the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund.
Now we must begin to pool our resources and expertise to make a real impression on our global targets during the remaining three years of the Decade of Action for Road Safety and the duration of the 2030 Agenda.
With the resolution before you and the establishment of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, there is a new opportunity to ensure synergy, efficiency and coordinated action.
And with it, 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.
I call on all road safety stakeholders, including Member States, to contribute to the Fund and to step up their efforts towards achieving our global road safety targets.