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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Headquarters

25 September 2008


Remarks to the Media at the Closing of the High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the media,

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr. Bill Gates,

Thank you very much for your presence here at the conclusion of this very successful day.

Today, we did something special. We brought together a broad coalition for change.

We have new partners -- national leaders, CEOs, civil society groups, NGOs, and philanthropists.

Prime Minister Brown estimated this morning that today's event has generated around $16 billion. And I think we are right [to say] that we have full commitment from many countries in pledges to help the world's poor. Around $16 billion were announced but for the exact pledges we will have to evaluate the announcements made and get back to you later. If so, that expression of global commitment would be all the more remarkable because it comes against a backdrop of financial crisis.

This brand of global leadership -- these global partnerships -- is the way of the future.

Let me mention just a few examples.

Prime Minister Brown and Bill Gates, with the World Bank and others, announced today a $1 billion plan to save the lives of 10 million mothers and children by the year 2015.

Norway pledged $1 billion to fight de-forestation in the Amazon, working with FAO and UNEP. The goal: to create financial incentives for local communities to preserve rather than cut their forests.

China pledged to double the number of agricultural technicians it sends to developing countries and to train 10,000 doctors and nurses.

The Gates Foundation, the Howard Buffett Foundation and the government of Belgium will collaborate with the World Food Programme to help poor farmers of Africa. Under this truly innovative pilot programme, WFP will purchase crops from local farmers under long term contracts. Farmers who until now had to make do with ad hoc arrangements, will now get the money they need up front to invest in fertilizers, seeds and new technology. This will permanently increase agricultural production.

Lastly, we are seeing truly extraordinary advances on malaria. A remarkable partnership -- with unified funding, coordinated management and top-notch science -- has brought us within range of containing a disease that kills a child every 30 seconds.

Joining together in a Global Malaria Action plan, our partners pledged $3 billion to save the lives of more than 4 million people by 2015.

This is global leadership -- global partnership -- in action.

It is a model for how to achieve all the other Millennium Development Goals -- health care, education, nutrition.

We also have received $4.5 million for the class of 2015.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I think we all can agree that this year's High-Level Event on the MDGs has exceeded our most optimistic expectations. I thank all who joined in making it possible.