Ban Ki-Moon joins launch of new road safety High Level Panel

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The High Level Panel was launched at UN HQ
The High Level Panel was launched at UN HQ
The panel, joined by Ban Ki-Moon aims to give ‘high visibility’ to road safety
The panel, joined by Ban Ki-Moon aims to give ‘high visibility’ to road safety
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of UNECE, is an honorary adviser
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of UNECE, is an honorary adviser
Michelle Yeoh is a member of the panel and acts as its spokesperson
Michelle Yeoh is a member of the panel and acts as its spokesperson

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has given his support to a new High Level Panel for Road Safety which has been convened by the FIA.

Mr Ban joined FIA President Jean Todt and members of the High Level Panel at the launch event at United Nations headquarters in New York. The initiative brings together senior figures from business, financial institutions and public administrations, supported by a phalanx of celebrity ambassadors. The panel aims to engage both the public and the private sectors to raise funding and political awareness in response to the road safety crisis, and to mobilise new support for the goals of the Decade of Action and for the road safety targets included in the Sustainable Development Goals. The panel members will explore the possibility of innovative financing measures, including pushing for the creation of a UN Road Safety Fund, which will finance road safety programmes.

The panel, which is receiving grant assistance from the FIA Foundation in the start-up phase, includes Thomas Bach, President, International Olympic Committee; Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Former Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety; Victor Kiryanov, Deputy Interior Minister, Russian Federation; Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General & CEO of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Jose Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum. Business leaders on the panel include Muhtar Kent, CEO and President, The Coca-Cola Company; Jean-Dominique Sénard, CEO and President, Michelin; Carlos Slim Jr, Chairman of the Board, Grupo Carso; and Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO, WPP. CEOs of car manufacturers are also included on the panel. The top executives, who have signed up to the panel’s Manifesto calling for all new cars to meet minimum UN safety technical regulations by 2020, are Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors; Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault-Nissan Alliance; Li Shufu, Chairman Geely & Volvo; and Ratan Tata, Chairman, TATA Trusts. Michelle Yeoh, actress and global road safety ambassador, is the panel’s spokesperson. The FIA is represented on the panel by Brian Gibbons, FIA Deputy President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism; Thierry Willemarck, FIA President of Region I; Takayoshi Yashiro, FIA President of Region II; Tim Shearman, FIA President of Region III; and Jorge Tomasi Crisci, FIA President of Region IV.

The panel is benefiting from independent policy advice from three senior ‘honorary advisers’ from international institutions: Bertrand Badre, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group; Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General, UNECE; and Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank.

At the meeting Ban Ki-moon called for greater efforts to reduce global road traffic casualties, and said he hoped that the Brasilia High Level Conference would achieve significant results and momentum. He urged support for the Decade of Action Global Plan, and supported calls for a new UN Fund for Road Safety.

FIA President Jean Todt, who chairs the High Level Panel and is also the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said: “The FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety is a unique initiative supporting an exceptional objective – a 50% reduction of fatalities on the world’s roads in the next five years, a target recognised under the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The panel members, all of them leaders in their field, will work toward this goal through raising the necessary funds and awareness to stop and reverse the tragic loss of life on our roads.”

Michelle Yeoh, Spokesperson for the Panel, said: “The focus of the High Level Panel is on practical action to improve road safety in those countries where the need is most urgent. The Panel brings together a network of leading individuals, from a range of fields of experience. Combined they can substantially raise awareness of the global road safety challenge and the need to mobilise new funds for this cause.”

Attending the launch, the FIA Foundation’s Director General, Saul Billingsley, said: “This FIA initiative is bringing unprecedented high level support and visibility for road safety. The key to success will be to gain and sustain top-level political and private sector attention, and to translate that into new sources of funding which can be strategically deployed by the UN via the most effective delivery channels. The FIA Foundation is pleased to be providing grant support to enable the High Level Panel’s initial activities, and we hope this will quickly catalyse new funding. We also welcome the commitment of the CEOs of some of leading global car groups to ensure all their new cars meet minimum UN vehicle safety regulations by 2020. This alone would be a significant achievement for the panel.”

Visit the High Level Panel’s website