France hosts FIA High Level Panel, commits to UN Road Safety Fund
President Emmanuel Macron of France has announced an initial €3 million support for the new UN Road Safety Trust Fund, during a reception at the Elysée Palace to host the FIA High Level Panel on Road Safety.
President Macron was joined by FIA President Jean Todt, who also serves as the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, and Rémy Rioux, Director General of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for the announcement on October 1st. The funding will be earmarked for countries in Africa, where road traffic fatality rates are the highest in the world despite relatively low motorisation. President Macron also stressed that road safety must be one of the priorities of French development aid policy.
The FIA High Level Panel brings together more than 50 leading personalities, from both the public and private sectors, committed to road safety worldwide. For the past three years, the HLP has been working to encourage the establishment of the UN Fund and to develop financing mechanisms. The Panel’s work is funded with a grant from the FIA Foundation.
After being received at City Hall by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, herself a member of the Panel, the members met at the FIA headquarters at Place de la Concorde, and were then hosted in the evening at the Palais de l'Elysée by President Macron.
France is the first country to contribute to the new UN Road Safety Trust Fund, which has already received contributions from the FIA Foundation and private sector donors Total Foundation, Pirelli and 3M.
FIA Foundation Chairman Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, who is a member of the High Level Panel, spoke at the meeting about the importance of increasing funding for road traffic injury prevention. “To have an officially sanctioned strategic fund dedicated to preventing deaths and injuries on the world’s roads is a real advance. It has the potential to be a transformational moment. But the challenge now is to deliver on that promise. Because at some point the talking has to stop, and the pledging has to start. I am proud that the FIA Foundation, which I lead, has stepped up as one of the first major donors to the new Fund. We have pledged ten million dollars over the next three years. This new commitment from President Macron and France is also very welcome. To maintain momentum I would encourage the UNECE and the Fund to organise a Donors Conference in 2019. I am sure the High Level Panel would provide all assistance, and I hope many of the panel members will attend and pledge significant financial support.”
‘The Road to Change’, a new film on the work of the FIA High Level Panel and the global road safety challenge, starring movie actor and Panel member Michelle Yeoh, was also shown at the event. The High Level Panel is now focusing on fundraising for the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, including encouraging members of the Panel, some of whom are leading corporate CEOs and high net worth individuals, to commit financial as well as moral support.
Photos courtesy of FIA, AFD, Alisa Tiganj