Home Menu Search

Prince Michael speeches

Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA 11th December, The Savoy 2018.

'We are here today to celebrate the achievements of my award winners from 2018 and I am delighted that you have been joined by many former winners. Your contribution has been significant and I am grateful to you all for your commitment and initiative.

Over the years my award ceremony has grown to become more than just a celebration of success.

It is a wonderful opportunity to bring together many who dedicate their time and talents to reducing risk on our roads. I am therefore delighted that we are able to hold it to coincide with a number of important meetings which encourage us to share ideas and learn from each other.

Partnership and collaboration are essential if we are to be successful.

So today I am pleased to announce a new Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative. It will encourage collaboration and develop a shared framework of best practice for legislators, policy makers, private sector, and civil society. I am delighted to welcome its expert panel here today.

Earlier this year I was able to join The UN Road Safety Collaboration in New York and to take part in The UN General Assembly debate where we reflected on the achievements of the Decade of Action.

The assembly showed that although some progress during the decade, this is also highlighted The World Health Organisation’s Status Report published last week,.

However it is clear that even more is needed if we are to achieve substantial reduction in lives lost.

I therefore believe that we need three complimentary initiatives:

First, we need to support the new UN road safety target for 2030 to halve road deaths and serious injuries. This will reinvigorate the road safety ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals and provide a framework for accountability and action.

Of course, our vision is for a world free from road traffic fatalities but we should use this target as a benchmark for progress rather than the final destination. The serious risk is that, without such a new casualty reduction target, the road safety performance of UN Member States will be weakly measured and consequently poorly managed.

Second, we need to mobilise new resources to finance road injury prevention programmes. The creation of the UN Trust Fund will aid this and I am delighted that the first grants have already been made to support pilot schemes in developing countries. I am also pleased that companies including Michelin are pledging substantial support.

Third we need much stronger political commitment. We know that the countries with the best road safety performance have benefited from strong and sustained political support.

I am therefore pleased to learn that planning is well-advanced for the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Sweden in February 2020 and look forward to Global Road Safety Week in May next year when the theme will be on "Leadership for Road Safety"

The three propositions, to set a new UN target for 2030, to boost funding and to increase political commitment for road safety are inter-related. A target is needed to measure performance, funds are needed for effectiveness, and political commitment is needed for action. All three require strong leadership.

Here I would like to pay tribute to Jean Todt – The President of FIA who has shown outstanding commitment and exemplary leadership. He has established a High Level Panel which continues the proud tradition of the FIA, and the FIA Foundation, in leading the agenda. In 2015, he was appointed to be the first UN Special Envoy for Road Safety. Using both his FIA and UN offices, Jean has successfully campaigned for the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, which as I have said has now been established.

Although I was unable to be in St Petersburg last week to present him with My Decade of Action Award I am grateful to Lord Robertson for doing so on my behalf.

Later I will announce my Premier Award winner and I don’t want to keep you from your lunch for any longer but must thank all involved in organising my Awards, especially the judges who had to consider in excess of sixty nominations. My thanks go also to our generous sponsors who make the scheme possible.

But above all my congratulations go to you my award winners and I ask for a round of applause for my award winners. Congratulations to you all.''

 

Speech by Prince Michael to the UN Road Safety Collaboration April 2018

''My Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to speak to the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. Since 2004 the organisation has played a key role co-ordinating the United Nation’s response to the loss of thirty-five hundred lives every day on the world’s roads. Your activities have provided important strategic direction to the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Most important, the Global Plan for the Decade developed by the UNRSC has encouraged countries to adopt more effective policies for road injury prevention. Your meetings bring together a powerful coalition of UN agencies, development banks, researchers, non-government organisations, philanthropies and private sector companies.

Going through the list of participants for this meeting I can see that the UNRSC membership reads like an alumni association for my International Road Safety Awards. For over thirty years now, my awards have recognised excellence in road injury prevention, and it is good to see so many winners here today. I am pleased also that the awards are on the agenda of your meeting, because our judging panel is always interested to receive more international nominations. Recognizing achievement and good practice is essential, and enables us to put our road safety successes under the spotlight. This demonstrates leadership and encourages others to take action; at a time when the urgency of effective road injury prevention has never been more pressing.

It is deeply shocking that since the beginning of this century over twenty million people have lost their lives in road crashes. And another 850 million have been injured. This is not only a tragedy for millions of families but an appalling cost to countries the world over. We know that the vast majority of these deaths and injuries can be prevented. This motivated the UN to call for a Decade of Action in 2011 and then to include road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. But we also know that the scale of response so far has been far from adequate.

The Decade of Action was launched with the aim to “stabilize and then reduce” the level of road fatalities. Today we can say that at best there has been some stabilization but not yet any significant reduction. As you all know very well, the SDG Goal for Health includes the target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2020. Unfortunately, it is clear now that this will not be achieved. Against this disappointing background, it is surely time for some strategic reflection on how to inject more urgency into improving road safety globally.

In the resolution just adopted by the General Assembly I am very encouraged that the Government of Sweden has offered to host a Third High Level Global Ministerial Meeting on Road Safety. This important event will mark the end of the UN Decade of Action, but it must also lead to a new level of global commitment to road injury prevention. In many ways the Decade of Action has served as a useful period of preparation. We have a stronger level of engagement by the UN, the development banks, the private sector and civil society. We have a better understanding of effective road policies and a range of measures included in the World Health Organization’s Save LIVES technical package. And crucially compared to ten years ago, there are many more countries ready to take action to make roads safe.

So, we are poised now to deliver on the Decade of Action’s promise to do more than just stabilise the level of road fatalities. In order now to achieve substantial reduction in lives lost, I suggest, we need three complimentary initiatives.

First, we need to establish a new UN road safety target for 2030 to halve road deaths and serious injuries. This will reinvigorate the road safety ambition of the SDGs and provide a framework for accountability and action. Of course, our vision is for a world free from road traffic fatalities but we have intended this target as a benchmark for progress rather than the final destination. The serious risk is that, without such a new casualty reduction target, the road safety performance of UN Member States will be weakly measured and consequently poorly managed.

Second, we need to mobilise new resources to finance road injury prevention programmes. Here I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of Jean Todt, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy and the Secretariat of the UNECE. Today their proposal for a UN Road Safety Trust Fund has been approved. This fills a major institutional gap and provides a new opportunity to ensure that road safety attracts the funding it so clearly deserves. I hope that donors will respond generously.

Third we need much stronger political commitment to road safety. We know that the countries with the best road safety performance have benefitted from strong and sustained political support. In that contest it is important that today’s General Assembly resolution acknowledges the key role of legislators in passing effective road safety policies and laws, and allocating budgetary support. That is why, I am especially pleased to welcome here today a delegation of MPs from the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators. Hosted by the Towards Zero Foundation, of which I am patron, the Global Network was first proposed at the 2nd High Level Global Conference on Road Safety in Brasilia. Launched in London in 2016, the Global Network aims to encourage more engagement from parliamentarians worldwide in road safety. Its dedicated and energetic chairman, Barry Sheerman MP, will be describing their work to you shortly.

The three propositions I have made today, to set a new UN target for 2030, to boost funding and to increase political commitment for road safety are inter-related. A target is needed to measure performance, funds are needed for effectiveness, and political commitment is needed for action. All three are about leadership. The work of the UNRSC, is at its best when providing a platform for road safety leadership. So please continue your important role co-ordinating the UN systems work on road safety. And I fervently hope that together we can use the last two years of the UN Decade to set a new path of road safety progress for 2030. Millions of lives depend upon it.

Thank you very much.''

 

Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA 12th December, The Savoy 2017

''A very warm welcome to you all.

It is especially pleasing to be with so many experts at this truly international gathering at the culmination of a number of events in London which have attracted so many who do so much for improved safety.

I am also pleased that we are able to celebrate the achievements of so many who have received my awards since I first started my scheme in 1987.

Although my awards were initially solely British I soon began to appreciate just how bad the situation was elsewhere, especially in the developing world so I changed the focus of my Awards and was able to recognise those who were working to improve safety internationally. Over the last 20 years we have seen steady progress especially in Europe, Australasia and America but the enormity of the challenge facing us especially in the developing world still remains.

Much of this progress has been due to the work of The United Nations and its lead agency responsible – The WHO, but without the stimulus and energy of the FIA Foundation and its continuous campaigning I doubt if we would have even started.

Many of the achievements of my award winners are highlighted in the brochure which has been so expertly put together by the team from The Foundation. You will see just how diverse and innovative these have been.

I have been impressed by the work of the many people involved, including many government officials, engineers and researchers, business leaders and even, in some cases, road traffic victims themselves. My awards have sought to shine a spotlight on their ideas and achievements, and to bring together people from different continents to share success and learn from one another.

So today our focus is on this year’s winners and I am delighted that they are able meet so many others involved in making roads safer not just here in Britain but across the world too.

We are here to celebrate the achievements of many people behind schemes from multi-national organisations to simple local schemes. But I know that all of you will be as impressed as I have been by the ingenuity and resourcefulness shown.

I also know that you all believe as I do that without support from philanthropic organisations such as the Bloomberg Philanthropy as well as many commercial companies like Michelin you would have achieved much less.

The road safety challenges facing developing countries remain considerable. But international cooperation, non-existent in 1987, is now on a much stronger footing. The ambitions of the Decade of Action and the power of Sustainable Development Goals will help.

But in reality it has been many like you responsible for technical and organisational innovation together with important national and international advocates who work at many levels to reduce casualties and share knowledge that are making a difference. Above all it has been government action which has led the way and we know all too well that when there is government in-action casualties are on the increase.

I am pleased to add my strong personal support to the global call for action. Now we must redouble these efforts so as to meet our ambitious international targets and realise the ‘Vision Zero’ of a road transport system that no longer kills or seriously injures its users.''

Please click here for the Prince Michael speech archive.

 

 

        

 

Prince Michael addresses the 2018 Award Ceremony