13 June 2011

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

By Daring to Be Bold, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation ‘Changed Way


We Wage War against Preventable Disease’, Says Secretary-General in Message


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) pledging conference, delivered by Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in London on 13 June:

I am pleased to convey my best wishes and to express my support for the indispensable work of the GAVI Alliance.  I also would like to thank Prime Minister [David] Cameron for hosting this event.

GAVI has changed the way we wage war against preventable disease.  The Alliance has proven that with the introduction of new technologies, we can make a generational leap.  By daring to be imaginative, innovative and bold, we have raised significant capital and ensured the delivery of vaccines to those who need them most.  We have helped create markets so companies can develop more affordable products.

Our greatest prize has been the lives saved and the futures of individuals and families that are now free of the threat of many preventable diseases.  GAVI has already helped to immunize more than 288 million children and prevented more than 5 million deaths.  Now, the Alliance is poised to attack the two biggest child-killing diseases: pneumonia and rotavirus.  It has prioritized HPV and rubella vaccines that will have a direct benefit for women’s health.

Expanding access to vaccines and immunization will also be essential to the success of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, launched by world leaders last year at the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals.  Our new accountability framework will measure that success.

Like the GAVI Alliance itself, our strategy is grounded in partnership and innovation.  It relies on a coordinated approach to supporting national efforts to strengthen health systems.  And its success depends on our ability to reach the most vulnerable women and children.  In this way, we will achieve more health for the money, save millions of lives, and ensure a better future for all people.

We must do everything we can to achieve this goal — and this also means promoting universal immunization.  With your pledges, you are proving the power of partnership, the power to protect a baby from pneumonia, or a woman from cervical cancer; the power to prevent more than 4 million future deaths, the power to build healthier communities and a stronger world. 

Thank you for your leadership.  Most of all, I thank the GAVI Alliance for the results I am confident you will help to achieve.  I wish you all a very successful conference.

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For information media • not an official record