Safe and sustainable transport must be part of the post-2015 development agenda, a High Level Session organised by UN-DESA, UN-HABITAT and the Ford Foundation was told. The session, which coincided with the opening of the UN General Assembly was led by the Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson-Miller, Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and global road safety campaigner, double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Maksimychev. It was part of a Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport running over two days.
The session was chaired jointly by Nikhil Seth, Director of Sustainable Development at UN-DESA and Saul Billingsley Acting Director General of the FIA Foundation. Prime Minister Simpson-Miller led the event calling for commitment by the United Nations to ensure that combatting road traffic injury is included in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
She said: "Given the magnitude of the global situation concerning road safety, and the enormous impact on low and middle income countries, it is imperative that the issue is a UN priority and is included in our discussions as we seek to determine the post-2015 development agenda. Road safety is already a priority for Jamaica and we are proof that all countries can save lives on the roads. This is why we are proud to campaign with the family of Nelson Mandela, to uphold the values of social justice and ensure that we have safe roads for all."
Zoleka Mandela and Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce take part in the Long Short Walk Campaign and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller makes a speech to the event.
The Prime Minister outlined the road safety programme that Jamaica has carried out to reduce the level of fatalities below 300 annually, a reduction of 25% in just over four years. The Jamaican Government now has a target to reduce fatalities further, to below 240 annually.
Zoleka Mandela’s involvement in the event followed campaigning at UNICEF House the previous day as part of an event to mark 1 million votes on MY World, the UN’s global public survey on Post-2015.
She said: “Most of the time, road deaths are not considered to be a development crisis. But in front of our eyes, every day, on the roads in my country and around the world we see otherwise. Road traffic injury is a burden on the poor, and a plague upon the young. Like poverty, and like other major public health epidemics, it can be overcome. The post-2015 goals provide our opportunity to join together to make safe and sustainable transport a priority, and to prevent so much unnecessary suffering.”
Saul Billingsley Acting Director General FIA Foundation, Zoleka Mandela, Prime Minister Simpson-Miller, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Nikhil Seth Director Sustainable Development UNDESA
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pledged her support for the Long Short Walk campaign which Zoleka is leading together with Make Roads Safe. The double Olympic 100m Champion and World Champion said: “I want to see better protection for young people worldwide. Road traffic injury is the biggest killer of 15-29 year olds globally. As an athlete I want to encourage our children to be physically active, to walk or cycle to school. But in too many of our cities this is just not possible, or simply too dangerous. I’m standing proudly with the Mandela family, I’m joining the Long Short Walk, and I call upon our leaders to take action. I urge governments and the international community to come together and put plans in place to save lives and to protect the vulnerable on our roads.”
Prime Minister Simpson Miller, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Zoleka Mandela led a Long Short Walk photo opportunity to call for action to ensure that road safety is included in the UN’s Development Goals.