UN chief calls for efforts to reimagine safe ways for people to move around world

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that efforts must be made to reimagine safe ways for people to move around the world.

In his message for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, observed on Nov. 15 this year, the UN chief said that “as we remember the victims of road traffic collisions, let’s commit to reimagining ways to move around the world that are safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable for all, everywhere.”

The secretary-general said that road traffic collisions are “a major health and development concern,” adding that “some 3,700 fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends and colleagues are lost on the world’s roads every day. Road traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for children and young adults between 5 and 29 years old, and 90 percent of victims live in low- and middle-income countries.”

“We need to remember this as we resolve to build a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mobility systems must have safety at their core. This is the only way we will achieve the ambitious goal of halving road deaths and injuries by 2030,” said the secretary-general.

Noting that the UN road safety conventions are key to helping countries address the main causes of accidents, Guterres said he welcomed the recent UN General Assembly resolution that proclaimed a second Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2021 to 2030 and urged support for the efforts of his special envoy for road safety and for the United Nations Road Safety Fund.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on the third Sunday in November every year as the appropriate acknowledgment of victims of road traffic crashes and their families. It was started by the British road crash victim charity, RoadPeace, in 1993 and was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2005.