Citing the 1.3 million people killed and the 50 million people injured each year on the world's roads, the UN is appointing Todt to mobilize "sustained political commitment towards road safety." Beyond that, the Frenchman will work towards raising awareness of the UN's "road safety legal instruments."
"The road safety challenge is too often ignored, but road injuries are the number one killer of young people aged 15 to 29. That being the case, it deserves much more attention on the global political agenda," Todt said in the attached statement. "This appointment will bring greater visibility to efforts to tackle this health and development crisis, as well as new leadership and renewed momentum."
Meanwhile, the FIA also confirmed Todt and 44 other delegates in Nepal to attend the organization's Asia-Pacific Sport Regional Congress in Kathmandu were safe after the country was struck by a devastating earthquake last week.
Scroll on down for the official press release from the FIA.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed FIA President Jean Todt as his Special Envoy for Road Safety at a meeting held today in Paris.
In this capacity, he will assist the UN Secretary General in mobilizing sustained political commitment towards road safety. Mr. Todt will also advocate and raise awareness about the United Nations road safety legal instruments, and share established road safety good practices, through his participations in global and regional conferences on road safety. In addition, the Special Envoy for Road Safety will generate funding for advocacy efforts through strategic partnerships between the public, private and non-governmental sectors.
FIA President Jean Todt said: "The road safety challenge is too often ignored, but road injuries are the number one killer of young people aged 15-29. That being the case, it deserves much more attention on the global political agenda." adding "This appointment will bring greater visibility to efforts to tackle this health and development crisis, as well as new leadership and renewed momentum".
"In my position as FIA President, with the backing of our members, road safety has become a key priority. I have been committed to bringing together all stakeholders fighting for this cause. This new role will help build an even stronger coalition for road safety worldwide" he said.
Road fatalities account for almost 1.3 million deaths every year with a further 50 million left seriously injured. 90 per cent of fatalities take place in developing and emerging countries, despite only accounting for half the world's vehicles. The UN Road Safety Week which begins on 4 May draws attention to the 500 children that lose their lives every day on the road. At the end of the year, Brazil will host the Second Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety on 18-19 November to review progress in the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
Jean Todt is President of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de L'Automobile) - the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world's motoring organisations. He was elected to the position in October 2009 and re-elected in December 2013. He is also President of eSafety Aware and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society. Jean Todt began his career in 1966 as a world championship rally co-driver, before joining Peugeot as Sporting Director in 1981. In 1993, he joined Ferrari Racing, later taking responsibility for all motor sport activity for the Ferrari-Maserati Group. He was appointed General Manager of Ferrari in 2004 and at the end of 2006 became Chief Executive Officer of the company until 2008. In 2011, Jean Todt was named Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur, the highest honour of the French Republic. He is Chairman of the Board of the Suu Foundation, a humanitarian organization dedicated to advancing the health and education of the people of Myanmar founded by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He is also one of the Founders and the Vice-President of ICM, an institute devoted to medical research for brain and spinal cord disorders.