Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was presented with the FIA World Prize for Road Safety, the Environment and Mobility by FIA Academy President Rosario Alessi in Cape Town earlier this week.
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the retired Archbishop took time out from receiving the prestigious FIA accolade to accept an FIA Action for Road Safety T-Shirt and to express his support for the campaign. After voicing mock concern about being given an XL size, Archbishop Tutu rather more seriously spoke on the theme of road safety, a subject which he previously has described as “A new health emergency for Africa.”
Aside from the appalling loss of life Archbishop Tutu has outlined the huge burden placed upon healthcare infrastructures by serious injuries on the roads, and has raised awareness that frequently it is the poorest in society who are most badly affected, either through the loss of a wage or the costs associated with the full time care of a family member.
While Archbishop Tutu is formally retired, his work continues, if anything at a greater pace. As chairman of The Elders, the group of a dozen hugely influential senior statesman and women that includes a former President of the United States and a Secretary General of the United Nations, his commitment to humanitarian causes is unflagging. His support of the FIA Action for Road Safety will be of invaluable benefit in promoting the programme.
The FIA’s Action for Road Safety campaign was launched in May this year in response to the challenges raised by the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety, the aim of which is to prevent five million road deaths and countless serious injuries over the next ten years. The FIA's campaign will target motorists, motorsport enthusiasts, young people and governments and encourage member clubs and federations to make a commitment to address a critical road safety problem in their country.