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UN Bike Ride Promotes Sustainable Urban Transport Ahead of Rio+20

8 June 2012: The UN hosted a bicycle ride from its Headquarters to the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in New York, US, organized by the Mission on 8 June 2012. The ride highlighted the benefits of bicycling as a method of sustainable, low-carbon urban transportation. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who did not ride but wore a bicycle helmet to open the event, remarked on cycling's benefits for riders' health and the planet.

The larger challenge, Ban said, is “to get the world to use renewable energy to power our trains, planes, buses and boats. This is especially important for cities.” Sustainable transport will be on the agenda of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), he noted.

Herman Schaper, the Netherlands' ambassador to the UN, underscored the contribution of cycling to a sustainable economy, sustainable cities and sustainable transport. He added that it is particularly important to raise awareness of bicycles' role in emerging economies, where cities are growing and transportation needs increasing. Schaper was joined by other permanent representatives to the UN, UN officials, and NGO representatives. [UN Press Release] [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [UN Radio Story]