Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



Road safety is a human rights issue

7 March 2018

On 7 March, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) President Jean Todt, who also serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, together with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 and Yuwei Li, Director of UNECE’s Sustainable Transport Division spoke about the ongoing efforts to promote road safety at the Geneva Motor Show.

The joint press conference helped to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Adopted on 10 December 1948, the UDHR sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations and establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person.

FIA President Jean Todt opened the conference, highlighting that road safety is a human rights issue: “Road safety must be taken extremely seriously since it is a complex development issue, affecting multiple areas such as health, labour, education and above all human rights. We must fight for road safety and accessible mobility to be considered as a fundamental human right for everyone, most of all our children.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights added: “Road safety is a human rights question. Today, international law imposes affirmative obligations on every State to take all reasonable steps to protect the right to life, the right to personal security, the right to health, and the right to development of all people.”

Anne Hidalgo also took part in the press conference. She shared her experience with the audience as a #3500LIVES campaign Ambassador embodying the “Make Road Safety a Priority” Golden Rule. Being Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, she also shed light on how to improve road safety in cities, using Paris as an example: “Every year, 1.25 million people die on the world’s roads, including more than 182, 000 children, and 50 million more people are severely injured. In cities, 270, 000 pedestrians lose their lives after being hit by a car. That’s why, as Chair of C40 and Mayor of Paris, I strongly support Jean Todt and the FIA’s fight for road safety”.

Finally, Li Yuwei, Director of UNECE’s Sustainable Transport Division, insisted on the importance of UN conventions and agreements as far as road safety is concerned. He also underlined the need to establish minimum UN vehicle safety standards and mentioned the recent launch of the first road safety performance review in Uganda.

Watch the press conference (Facebook video)

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