The 2016 Westminster Lecture on Transport Safety

The 2016 Westminster Lecture on Transport Safety

Road Safety and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary & Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Introduction by Andrew Jones MP, Under Secretary of State for Transport Safety 

Click here for press release

Download full lecture report , or watch a recording of the lecture here. 

In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly adopted global goals for sustainable development. For the first time these explicitly recognised road safety as a global priority. A specific stand-alone target was included in the Health Goal to halve the number of road traffic deaths by 2020. A target on sustainable urban transport in the Cities Goal was also approved. The UK has ratified these goals and is expected to play its part in achieving them – at home and internationally.

Mr Christian Friis Bach will explain the role of the UNECE. He will set out the background to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (not only for road safety) and how they will be pursued. He was involved in the discussions from the outset more than six years ago, first as Special Advisor to the EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in her role as member of the Global Sustainability Panel, and later as Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark. He chaired the EU Council during Rio+20 and was a member of the UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals. He continues his involvement with the SDGs as United Nations Under-Secretary-General.

About Mr Christian Friis Bach

friis-bachOn 9 July 2014, the Secretary-General appointed Mr Christian Friis Bach of Denmark as the next Executive Secretary of UNECE. Mr Bach came from a position as Member of the Danish Parliament and Head of the Parliamentarian Group for the Danish Social/Liberal Party. He previously served as Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation (2011-2013) and Special Advisor to the European Union Commission for the United Nations Global Sustainability Panel (2010-2011).

He is Honorary Professor of International Economics and Development at the University of Copenhagen (2009-2014) and has been Associate Professor in International Economics and Development Economics, the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (1999-2005).

Mr Bach holds a Ph.D. in International Economics (1996), a MSc in Agronomy (1992) from the Royal Danish Agricultural University in Copenhagen and a supplementary degree in Journalism from the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Born in 1966, Mr Bach is married and has three children. The family lives on a small farm outside of Copenhagen.


This lecture is generously supported by


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