Brazilian president addresses UN on road safety
Road Safety took centre stage today when Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addressed the United Nations Annual General Assembly highlighting the role the FIA has taken in combating the rising number of deaths and serious injuries on the world's roads. Most of these tragic statistics, 1.3m fatalities and 40m injuries, are especially relevant to the fast-developing nations and to the 15-29 age group. Brazil, one of the rising economic powerhouses is especially susceptible to road accidents and thus President Rousseff has taken a strong and principled stand, backing the efforts spearheaded by FIA President Jean Todt and the global federation's campaign, the FIA Action for Road Safety.
In her address President Rousseff said: "Another initiative we salute is the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Brazil is engaged in action to protect lives and reduce road accidents. To this end, our government is preparing a wide ranging awareness-raising campaign together with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile)."
This campaign aims to reduce road deaths by five million over the next ten years and the strong and committed impetus by world leaders such as President Rousseff is crucial for its success.
Earlier in the day Jean Todt, accompanied by Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh and double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Rousseff.
During their meeting, the main topic of conversation was the the rapidly increasing global road safety problem and Mr Todt confirmed the FIA’s commitment to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and underlined the necessity for a strong and coordinated effort to curb the rising numbers of serious road injuries and fatalities.
The FIA President suggested a more collaborative approach would better tackle this problem, and in particular the main risk group: young people, 90% of whom live in fast-developing countries. He had also raised this in an earlier meeting in New York with Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation, an approach she endorsed and applauded.
The Brazilian government, alongside the UN, will be collaborating with the FIA in seeking effective and viable solutions to improve road safety.