Valletta, Malta, 28 November 2015 - Secretary-General’s remarks at Polio Eradication event
Let me begin by thanking Prime Minister Muscat and all the leaders here for their focus on this vital subject.
Polio struck down many of my generation.
Now we are on the verge of striking down polio.
A world that may have once seemed unimaginable is within reach – a polio-free world.
I have witnessed the progress myself. In August, I visited Nigeria. For the first time in history, Nigeria and the African continent reported a full year without one case of polio.
These and other achievements are testaments to the power of global partnership and concerted leadership. They are a tribute to millions of dedicated health workers on the frontlines.
But we must stay vigilant.
There are at least three keys to success.
First, we need the full engagement of all sectors of society. Government officials, yes. But also religious and traditional leaders, youth and women’s groups and other partners such as Rotary International which has made such a profound difference,
Second, in places of fighting and insecurity, warring parties must allow safe passage for health workers to access and vaccinate children.
Third, we need the commitment of the global community to fill the funding gaps and keep this promise to the world’s children.
We know when children are protected from polio, they are better protected against all diseases.
Once again, my thanks to all the Commonwealth leaders here for their resolve.
Together, let us make the final push -- and wipe out polio forever.
With your support, I know we will succeed.
Statements on 28 November 2015