The United Nations on Monday commemorated World Bicycle Day to acknowledge the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of bicycles.
While addressing a commemorative event, President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said that bicycles can make a huge and crucial contribution, "from reducing transport emissions and road deaths to tackling obesity and noncommunicable diseases, improving rural connectivity and empowering women and girls."
"Transport is the third-largest source of CO2," said Espinosa, adding that studies have shown that if just 10 percent of city mobility was by bike, urban transport emissions would fall by 7 percent.
"So, we must do more to integrate bicycles into urban and rural planning, infrastructure and design. We must consider subsidies that promote bicycle use. And we must invest in education to promote the multiple benefits of cycling," she added.
The bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told a briefing.
Why celebrate the bicycle?
The bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation;
The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, health care and sport;
The synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment;
The bicycle is a symbol of sustainable transportation and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.
World Bicycle Day:
Encourages Member States to devote particular attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies and to include the bicycle in international, regional, national and subnational development policies and programmes;
Encourages Member States to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design, in particular through policies and measures to actively protect and promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility, with a view to broader health outcomes, particularly the prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases;
Encourages stakeholders to emphasize and advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people, promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace;
Encourages Member States to adopt best practices and means to promote the bicycle among all members of society, and in this regard welcomes initiatives to organize bicycle rides at the national and local levels as a means of strengthening physical and mental health and well-being and developing a culture of cycling in society.
"It also conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production and has a positive impact on the climate," said the spokesman.
World Bicycle Day seeks to encourage member states to devote particular attention to the bicycle in development strategies and to include the bicycle in international, regional, national and subnational development policies, he added.
In April 2018, the UN General Assembly declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day.