25 April 2011
Deputy Secretary-General

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

Deputy Secretary-General, at Roll Back Malaria Partnership Breakfast, Urges

Private Sector to Strengthen Collaboration with United Nations Agencies


Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Breakfast in New York on 25 April:

World Malaria Day is an important observance on the United Nations calendar, and I thank all of you for being here.  I am especially happy to join the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and its Executive Director, Professor Awa Coll-Seck, in welcoming the representatives of the “United Against Malaria” campaign’s corporate partners as we honour their contributions.

I have had the privilege of being part of the campaign from the beginning.  At that time, the link between soccer and malaria was not apparent to many people.  Today everyone has come to recognize that soccer is a wonderful platform from which to spread awareness of malaria in Africa and across the world.

That is why I was so delighted to learn that the Roll Back Malaria partners have decided to continue with the campaign.  Soccer is one of those pursuits in which one can always count on new excitement, and we can see that now in the build-up to the Africa Cup of Nations.  Malaria advocacy around the Cup will help us sustain the valuable momentum that we worked so hard to build before, during and after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the United Against Malaria campaign have shown just how much the private sector can do to catalyse gains in public health.  Public-private partnerships, with their unique perspective and combination of resources, are poised to continue playing a key role in the fight against malaria.  The private sector partners joining us this morning represent a broad spectrum of industries.

Most importantly, we at the United Nations know that publicity and image are not the main drivers motivating the commitment and engagement of companies like yours.  You are engaged and committed to relieving the untenable burden that this disease places on millions of people, particularly on the African continent, because of your sense of global citizenship.  In so doing, you will help avert the tremendous loss of productivity that is among malaria’s terrible tolls.

Now that you are here with us, allow me to encourage you to do more.  We hope you will strengthen your collaboration with agencies such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Global Fund, who are represented here this morning.  We all want to see the United Against Malaria campaign grow and flourish.  I also call on you to help us enlist other companies in this effort, so that we can enlarge the partnership of United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Governments working to turn the tide against this disease.

We have made great progress in the last decade.  The numbers are clear.  Global malaria deaths decreased from 2008 to 2009.  Hundreds of millions of nets have been distributed, millions of homes have been sprayed and the number of effective treatments has increased exponentially.  These successes set us on track to meet our goals going forward.  But make no mistake, we are aiming to meet a very high rate of success and we will all have to do our utmost as a team.

Thank you for your support.  You are setting an inspiring example that I hope others will follow.  I look forward to seeing these noteworthy efforts continue to make a difference.

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For information media • not an official record