New York

30 June 2022

Secretary-General's remarks at High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Improving Road Safety [as delivered, bilingual. Scroll down for all-English]

Permettez-moi tout d’abord de vous remercier pour votre présence aujourd’hui en faveur de la sécurité routière – un des nombreux grands défis auxquels notre monde est confronté. 

Je voudrais également saluer mon Envoyé spécial, Jean Todt, et le remercier pour son leadership et son engagement sans relâche. 

Les accidents de la route sont une épidémie silencieuse ambulante. 

La réunion d’aujourd’hui est une occasion vitale d’améliorer la situation, de prendre des mesures concrètes et d’œuvrer à des changements durables.  

Chaque année, 1,3 million de personnes meurent sur la route et 50 millions sont gravement blessées. 

Aujourd’hui, les accidents de la route représentent la première cause de mortalité au monde chez les jeunes de 5 à 29 ans.

Neuf victimes sur dix vivent dans des pays à revenu intermédiaire ou à bas revenu.

Cette tragédie est d’autant plus inacceptable que beaucoup de ces morts pourraient parfaitement être évitées.  

Road fatalities are closely linked to poor infrastructure, unplanned urbanization, lax social protection and health care systems, limited road safety literacy, and persistent inequalities both within and between countries. 

At the same time, unsafe roads are a key obstacle to development.  

Traffic accidents can push entire families into poverty through either the loss of a breadwinner or the costs associated with lost income and prolonged medical care. 

And developing countries lose between 2 and 5 percent of GDP every year because of them.  

Safer roads promote sustainable development.  

Our goals are clear: cut road traffic deaths and injuries by half by 2030 and promote sustainable mobility with safety at its core.  

I count on you to raise attention and awareness and to foster more inclusive collaboration and closer coordination across sectors and stakeholders. 

We need more ambitious and urgent action to reduce the biggest risks – such as speeding; driving under the influence of alcohol or any psychoactive substance or drug; failure to use seatbelts, helmets and child restraints; unsafe road infrastructure and unsafe vehicles: poor pedestrian safety: and inadequate enforcement of traffic laws. 

We need increased financing for sustainable and safe infrastructure and investments in cleaner mobility and greener urban planning – especially in low- and middle-income countries. 

And we need to adopt a more holistic approach to road safety. 

This means better integrating road safety in national policies – from education, health, and transport to climate mitigation, land-use planning, and disaster response.  

I encourage all Member States to accede to United Nations road safety conventions and implement whole-of-society action plans, taking a strong prevention approach.   

I urge all donors to scale up much-needed financial and technical contributions through the United Nations Road Safety Fund. 

Every one of us has a role to play in making roads safer for everyone, everywhere.  

Together, we can save lives, support development, and steer our world to safer roads ahead, leaving no one behind.  

Thank you. 

*****
All English

Let me begin by thanking you for coming together to focus on improving road safety – a critical issue among the many challenges facing our world.

I also want to acknowledge my Special Envoy, Jean Todt, for his commitment and exemplary leadership.

Road accidents are a silent epidemic on wheels.

This gathering is a vital opportunity to drive progress, take concrete actions, and realise lasting change.

Every year, 1.3 million people die on roads; 50 million more are seriously injured.

Road crashes are the single biggest killer of young people aged between 5 to 29 years old in the world today.

Nine out of 10 victims are in middle- and low-income countries.

The tragedy of their deaths is made even greater by the simple fact that so many are entirely preventable.

Road fatalities are closely linked to poor infrastructure, unplanned urbanization, lax social protection and health care systems, limited road safety literacy, and persistent inequalities both within and between countries.

At the same time, unsafe roads are a key obstacle to development.

Traffic accidents can push entire families into poverty through either the loss of a breadwinner or the costs associated with lost income and prolonged medical care.

And developing countries lose between 2 and 5 percent of GDP every year because of them.

Safer roads promote sustainable development.

Our goals are clear: cut road traffic deaths and injuries by half by 2030 and promote sustainable mobility with safety at its core.

I count on you to raise attention and awareness and foster more inclusive collaboration and closer coordination across sectors and stakeholders.

We need more ambitious and urgent action to reduce the biggest risks – such as speeding; driving under the influence of alcohol or any psychoactive substance or drug; failure to use seatbelts, helmets and child restraints; unsafe road infrastructure and unsafe vehicles: poor pedestrian safety: and inadequate enforcement of traffic laws.

We need increased financing for sustainable and safe infrastructure and investments in cleaner mobility and greener urban planning – especially in low- and middle-income countries.

And we need to adopt a more holistic approach to road safety.

This means better integrating road safety in national policies – from education, health, and transport to climate mitigation, land-use planning, and disaster response.

I encourage all Member States to accede to United Nations road safety conventions and implement whole-of-society action plans, taking a strong prevention approach. 

I urge all donors to scale up much-needed financial and technical contributions through the United Nations Road Safety Fund.

Every one of us has a role to play in making roads safer for everyone, everywhere.

Together, we can save lives, support development, and steer our world to safer roads ahead, leaving no one behind.

Thank you.