Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile president Jean Todt and actress Michelle Yeoh have been conferred the Humanitarian of the Year award by the United Nations Association of New York for their dedicated work in promoting road safety around the world. FIA is the world’s governing body in charge of motorsports. Todt, meanwhile, is the former team principal of Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1.
“Jean Todt and Michelle Yeoh have mobilized sustained commitment toward road safety and development,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the event, held at the J. W. Marriott Essex House in New York City. “Road safety is not a privilege but a basic human right.”
As the head of the FIA, Todt actively works to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide in the framework of the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign and the FIA Road Safety Grant Program supporting initiatives on the promotion of road safety.
“We cannot accept that every year, 1.25 million people die on the road, and 50 million people are injured,” he said upon receiving the award. “I take this symbol, the Humanitarian of the Year award, as more than an award for Michelle and myself, but as an opportunity to highlight this carnage.”
In his role as UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Todt assisted in the creation of a draft resolution on road safety adopted by the UN General Assembly in April. He advocates for the achievement of the goals of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 to 2020) to reduce road fatalities by 5 million.
“With a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we can make roads safe, and we can make the world a better, safer, healthier place for all,” Yeoh added. She is the spokesperson for the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety.
United Nations Association of New York president Abid Qureshi presented the award to the pair, thanking them for putting road safety “at the forefront of the developmental agenda of world leaders.”