Since the presentation of the 2014 Adelaide Velo-city Global, the world’s largest cycling planning conference, Bike SA has been engaged as a Board Member of the World Cycling Alliance. Our engagement in this forum has been highly informative in our strategic advocacy work.

We are all aware of the disruptive world that we now live in – whether transport disruptors like Uber and bike share operators like OFO and OBike, or accommodation disruptors like AirBnB. And then there are also the developments in connected autonomous vehicles and what that will mean for personal mobility throughout our cities.

Within this context, it is important that we ensure that cycling’s capacity to play a meaningful role in the make up of our cities is kept at the forefront of government policy.

For the last two years, the World Cycling Alliance and European Cyclists Federation have been working with the United Nations to establish a World Bicycle Day – thereby affirming the humble bicycle as the provider of a basket of benefits to community.

We are thrilled to announce that the United Nations has declared June 3rd as International World Bicycle Day, by adopting a resolution on April 12th 2018, during the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, in New York City.

The resolution was adopted by a consensus of 193 member states. The declaration invites all Member States and relevant stakeholders to celebrate and promote awareness of World Bicycle Day.

The declaration 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 programs.

H.E. Ambassador, Aksoltan Ataeva, Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations, introduced the draft resolution, co-sponsored by 56 countries, to the General Assembly for the vote. The Assembly adopted the resolution, declaring June 3rd as World Bicycle Day.

The World Cycling Alliance (WCA) and the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) welcome this resolution adopted by the UNGA, after having campaigned for a UN designated World Bicycle Day since 2016.

WCA and ECF Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink states “Cycling is a source for social, economic and environmental benefits – and it is bringing people together. WCA and ECF are extremely happy with this declaration.

This UN declaration is an acknowledgment of the contribution of cycling to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in which it is shown that cycling delivers directly on at least 12 of the 17 SGD’s”.

The Resolution text is telling in the global recognition of the benefits of getting more people cycling.

“AKSOLTAN ATAEVA (Turkmenistan), introducing the draft resolution “World Bicycle Day” (document A/72/L.43), said cycling was already delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals and played a major role in personal mobility worldwide, with more than 1 billion riders. Noting the importance of sport as a factor in ensuring sustainable development, Turkmenistan reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen international cooperation aimed at implementing the principles of development and peace.

For its part, Turkmenistan had hosted a cycling event in early April 2017 in Ashgabat. The primary purpose of establishing the Day was to celebrate on an annual basis the bicycle, which had been in use for two centuries. Among the secondary goals was the global unification of the bicycle enthusiasts’ efforts to present cycling’s role as a solution to worldwide challenges, including transportation, pollution, climate change, poverty, health and quality education. With many noteworthy days of recognition celebrated by the United Nations, she said “the bicycle as a loyal instrument of humankind deserves a day of recognition too”.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution without a vote, declaring 3 June as World Bicycle Day.”