The establishment of a new UN Road Safety Trust Fund
Following the session of the General Assembly on 12 April later that morning the new fund was announced at a formal ceremony.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed, Jean Todt UN Special Envoy for Road Safety and Olga Algayerova who heads the UN office in Geneva opened the event.
The FIA Foundation made the first donation to the fund with a cheque for US $ 10 million. Further contributions have been pledged in the next weeks by the French petroleum company Total and the company 3M.
So far there are no announcements of any contributions by governments.
The UN has promised to be open about the contributions made to the fund and the way in which the money is spent.
An advisory board will be established to give strategic guidance to a steering committee. The administration of the fund will be devolved to an agent.
The agent will be the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office which already manages over one hundred other UN financial instruments.
The contribution by the FIA Foundation is very generous and the FIM hopes this will stimulate action by governments if this fund is to make any impact on road safety in middle and low income countries.
As Saul Billingsley pointed out to delegates the sums spent on other problems that face the world and result in many deaths are of a different order altogether. For example, the US philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates (a few days after the UN New York meetings) announced another donation of one billion US dollars through to 2023 in the battle against Malaria. In this endeavour governments are also contributing money.
So far it is the non-government sector led by the FIA Foundation, that has taken action on road safety. Another significant NGO is the Safer Roads Foundation led by UK philanthropist Michael Woodford MBE which has spent GBP £12 million in the last six years mainly on road infrastructure projects.
SRF always takes into account in its work the needs of motorcycle riders and other road users. Examples of the work can be found in the case studies section of their website.
On the UN pledge to be open about how the fund is administered and the money spent FIM is confident. FIM has been engaged with UN work since 1988 and when it comes to road safety all the documentation is freely available to anyone who wants to read it.