UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
14 NOVEMBER 2006
Ladies and Gentleman,
A famous poet once said;
"When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of Dukes."
So it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be here today in such distinguished company.
I would like to begin by congratulating; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and the International Finance Facility for Immunization. On November 7th, bonds were issued to raise US$4 billion over the next ten years. The new funds will enable the GAVI Alliance to immunize more than 500 million children against preventable diseases before 2015, and save as many as 10 million lives.
I would also like to congratulate;
We have a clear moral imperative to act in the face of unacceptable poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, when globally the knowledge, tools, and technologies are available to do so.
I would therefore like to commend the New York Academy of Sciences and The United Nations Millennium Project for establishing the 'Scientists without Borders' initiative.
By mobilizing a global community of academics, scientists and corporations this initiative will better match needs with expertise, and enhance international cooperation on global health issues. It was Francis Bacon who said that scientific discoveries had;
"..changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world".
Science has empowered human development for hundreds of years. From our knowledge of the environment in which we live in, to advances in human health, science has had such a strong impact on our lives.
However, despite the many advances in science and technology over recent years, the majority of the world's population have yet to share all the benefits of this progress.
We live in an era of shared responsibility. To solve global challenges we must all work together in true partnership.
'Scientists Without Borders' offers a unique global forum for scientists - public and private - to have a stronger voice in global public health.
Also, to provide a coordinating framework for partnerships so that your skills can deliver more for the poorest and most vulnerable.
In the spirit of the United Nations Charter your work can foster closer ties between communities of academics, teachers and students in the developing and developed world.
I wish you all, the greatest success in advancing global health. And I would be grateful if you could keep the General Assembly up-to-date with your work as it progresses.