President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande, has called for investments in city infrastructure to support cycling.
In a message to mark the World Bicycle Day 2020, Muhammad-Bande, who is Nigeria’s ambassador to the UN, highlighted the socioeconomic and health benefits of cycling.
He said such investment would “contribute to a more safe, resilient and sustainable future for all of us.
“This year, on World Bicycle Day, we acknowledge the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle.
“Bicycles are used every day across our globe – from the most affluent nations- to developing, and the least developed countries.
“Evidence suggests that even before COVID-19, many people turned to cycling as an affordable and equitable mode of transportation, leading to a longer and healthier life.
“Cycling has not only proven to improve physical health, but also has a positive impact on mental health and subjective well-being,” the envoy said.
Muhammad-Bande also underscored the importance of bicycle ownership to families in many countries, including lifting them out of poverty.
At the same time, it improves their access to “quality education, jobs, markets and community activities when public transportation is unavailable,” he noted.
“In times of COVID-19, cities are being challenged to rethink their infrastructure, with bicycles playing a vital role in offering a quiet, economical, and non-polluting alternative to cars and public transportation systems.
“Safe, efficient, low carbon and affordable mobility for all is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
The UN General Assembly declared June 3 as International World Bicycle Day in April 2018, in recognition of the “uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle.”