Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Statements

Deputy Secretary-General: Statements

New York, 20 April 2015 - Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at lunch discussion to mark World Malaria Day 2015 [as prepared for delivery]

Your Excellency Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, Mr. Hervé Verhoosel, Representative of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Distinguished guests,

I am honoured to be with you today to commemorate World Malaria Day.

This will be the last observance of this Day under the Millennium Development Goals.

We have made tremendous progress over the past 15 years.

Malaria mortality rates have decreased by 47 per cent worldwide and 55 percent in Africa alone since the MDGs were adopted in the year 2000.

This is due to greater coordination – thanks in large part to the Roll Back Malaria partnership – strong technical guidance by the World Health Organization and increased financing.  I also commend here the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, Mr. Ray Chambers, and other champions of this cause.

As a result, since 2001, more than 4 million lives have been saved from malaria – most of them young children in Africa.

A new generation now has the chance to grow up healthy and contribute to their societies, very much thanks to the eminent work carried out by the malaria community.

I commend you for your stellar efforts.

As we transition to the next set of development goals, more than half of all endemic countries are on track to meet the MDG6 target for Malaria by the end of this year, namely to halt and begin to reverse the incidence of the disease. 

But much work remains to protect the more than 3 billion people still at risk of infection around the world.

Far too many cases of malaria continue to go unreported and untreated.  Too many lives are cut short for lack of an insecticide-treated net or a simple course of treatment.

As we move forward, continued and strengthened partnership will be crucial – within and between sectors – to increase efficiency and to maximize the impact of our work.

Increased financing will also be key – both through international aid programs and through national budgets.  And we must invest in the next generation of tools to combat drug and insecticide resistance.

Over the past 15 years, the malaria community has demonstrated the remarkable power of partnership.

You have proved that a strategic combination of coordination, financial commitment, advocacy and political will is a winning formula for defeating this disease. 

We have the tools to save lives and advance progress across the development agenda, including by keeping children in school, fighting poverty and improving maternal health.

When we invest in eradicating malaria from this broader perspective, we create healthy communities, stable societies and strong economies. 

Fighting malaria is indeed one of the most cost-effective public health investments of our time.  We cannot afford to stop investing now.

Just as investments in fighting malaria have helped to drive progress across the MDGs, they will be strongly tied to several of the sustainable development goals now being foreseen.

So, as we approach the end of the MDG period and as we look back on the road we have travelled, let us do so with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment.

But let us also look ahead with bold confidence and renewed commitment to working together, determined and vigorously, toward a world free of malaria.

Thank you.

Statements on 20 April 2015