25 September 2008

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York





Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Millennium Development Goal Malaria Summit in New York, today, 25 September:

I am very excited and overwhelmed by such a great presence of great leaders of our international community at the United Nations.  Many Heads of State and Government are taking part here with the great leaders of the business community, the World Bank, private sector leaders and civil community leaders.

This $3 billion commitment is really encouraging.  Of course you know we need more.  There are so many areas where we need urgent funding, but this is a goodwill demonstration to the international community, as a part of your participation.

With your support we may have a full coverage of malaria interventions by 2010, and then virtually end death from the disease by 2015.  That is a target.  When I attended the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting last July, with the strong help of G-8 leaders -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown is sitting here -- I told the leaders that I need 120 million bednets, insecticide-treated bednets.  Then the G-8 leaders immediately committed 100 million bednets.  Then, later, I jokingly said the remaining 20 million [bednets] will be the homework and the task of Mr. Ray Chambers.  He will take care of the 20 million [bednets].

I am very much encouraged by the support from the international community.  In that regard, let me thank especially my Special Envoy, Mr. Ray Chambers, for his passionate leadership in this campaign.  I am also grateful to all of you who are here today, top Government officials, leading artists, members of the faith community, educators, UN officials, philanthropists and medical experts.

This is exactly the kind of broad, global coalition we need to reach all of our Millennium Development Goals.

As I told the General Assembly on Monday and Tuesday and today, our approach to malaria can serve as a model for other campaigns to battle the ills we face now -- not just disease, but also hunger, poverty, illiteracy and gender inequality.

The great progress we have seen on malaria comes thanks to you -- the generous donors and our other partners who are putting their money to good use.

That is because you are thinking and doing.

You are carefully considering the best course of action, and at the same time you are moving ahead with life-saving interventions.

You are supporting Governments in ways they need most.  And you are involving individuals in this great drive to end malaria deaths.

It is impossible to calculate the human suffering that mothers endure when their children die.  What we do know is that the economic burden runs in the tens of billions of dollars annually.  The impact of your successful campaign will be immeasurable.

Over the course of this week, I have worked hard to convince Governments that the Millennium Development Goals can be met.

There have been some doubts whether these Millennium Development Goals are achievable.  With this strong commitment I am convinced that this is an achievable goal.  Today I point to your achievement as proof that, when we pull together, we may do more than just reach the goals; we might just surpass them.  I count on your leadership and commitment and contributions.

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For information media • not an official record