FIA Foundation Annual General Meeting highlights action on road safety and air quality
The FIA Foundation Annual General Meeting has heard reports on the work of the charity over the past year in the fields of road safety, adolescent advocacy, air quality and motor-sport safety.
The 2019 Annual Report, ‘Building alliances for safe roads and clean air’, was launched by the Foundation’s chairman, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, at the meeting in Paris. In his introduction to the report, and in his speech, Lord Robertson reviewed the progress of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety ahead of the forthcoming 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.
“What is clear is that, while the Decade of Action has not been a success it has also not been a failure”, Lord Robertson told the AGM. “Ten years ago the World Health Organization’s data experts were predicting that road deaths would rise from 1.3 million to 1.9 million by 2020. Yet the most recent estimate is around 1.4 million a year. Road deaths are barely stabilising, and certainly not reducing. But nor have they risen to the levels predicted. So it is a start. And if we, collectively, have played any part in preventing up to five hundred thousand deaths a year we can all be justly proud.”
He went on to identify key roles of the Foundation in promoting institutional strengthening of road safety. This includes supporting the office of the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt; ongoing collaboration with the World Bank to develop Regional Road Safety Data Observatories; the World Health Organization regional networks of road safety legislators; the campaign and advocacy work of more than 40 FIA clubs during UN Global Road Safety Week; and the Foundation’s role as the leading donor to the UN Road Safety Fund.
Activity in the crucial policy areas of climate change and air quality were also strengthened this year. The Foundation has joined forces, and pooled resources, with several major philanthropies to launch a new Clean Air Fund; while the expert Global Fuel Economy Initiative re-launched with a global vehicle fleet decarbonisation strategy, and The Real Urban Emissions (TRUE) Initiative worked with the cities of London and Paris to inform and shape policy on polluting vehicles.
The achievements at scale of major Foundation programmes, the International Road Assessment Programme, now active in more than 100 countries, and Global NCAP and its regional partners and campaigns were highlighted. The AGM also heard about activities from FIA member clubs from both mobility and sporting arms, including: Botswana’s Emergency Assistance 911’s campaign to improve the safety of children’s journeys to school; the ‘Girls on Track’ access to sport programme led by the sporting club in Sweden; the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan and its work on truck driver safety; the Automobile and Touring Club of Lebanon, which coordinates young driver training and safety in motor sport across the Middle East; and the work of the Touring y Automóvil Club de Colombia in promoting motorcycle safety.
Long-serving Chairman of the Investment Committee, Martin Angle, retired from the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, as did AA Philippines President Gus Lagman. They were replaced by new trustees, Geraldo Braggiotti, a banker with significant investment experience, and Wan Heping, Vice President of the Chinese Federation of Automobile Sports.
Welcoming the new trustees, and thanking all the trustees, staff and partners of the Foundation, Lord Robertson said: “Just as race teams exert every effort to reduce their lap or stage times, so we must keep an eye on the ticking clock of lives lost on the world’s roads; and use the forthcoming Stockholm Ministerial to reinvigorate the campaign for road safety and healthy streets. Because, even if it takes another decade until 2030, and beyond, this vital work for safety and sustainability is a race we have to win.”