UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has described the scale of global road death as 'totally unacceptable' in a meeting with global road safety ambassador Michelle Yeoh.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Saul Billingsley, Road Safety Fund director; Michelle Yeoh and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Michelle Yeoh presented the UN Secretary General with a road safety Tag, the new symbol for global road safety, and a 'tropical' motorcycle helmet of the kind used by millions of riders in Vietnam. During their meeting, at UN headquarters in New York, Michelle Yeoh and Mr Ban discussed the forthcoming launch of the Decade of Action and the new 'Global Plan' for the Decade, which sets out an advisory framework for injury prevention.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed what is at stake in the forthcoming Decade:
"Through the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, I sincerely hope that we can save human lives. It is totally unacceptable more than one million people die on the roads and more than fifty million are injured. The human costs are profound and even the economic cost is staggering, more than $100 billion in developing countries.
"The United Nations will lead by example, we need the support from member states and community leaders and most importantly this Decade, the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, is for everybody, every expressway, every road and every vehicle, therefore we need to have a concerted effort. If we lead by example we can save millions of lives. This is what the United Nations is working very hard for – a safer world for all."
Michelle Yeoh commented: "The UN Secretary General has again shown great leadership in promoting this neglected issue of road death and injury. We have all worked so hard to get to this point, where the Decade of Action is about to begin. We are all united with a global plan of action, and the will and determination to deliver action that will make a real difference to people's lives on roads and streets across the world."
Mr Ban Ki-moon also praised Michelle Yeoh for her work on behalf of global road safety: "I highly commend Michelle Yeoh for using her star power. She has a global reach and influence. With this kind of leadership role I am sure that together with the United Nations we can save many, many human lives", the UN Secretary General said.