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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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La Havana, Cuba , 20 October 2014 - Secretary-General's Message to Summit of Heads of State of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas on the Ebola Epidemic [ Delivered by Dr. David Nabarro, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola]

I am pleased to send greetings to this important meeting.  Ebola is a major global problem that demands a massive and immediate global response.  I welcome the decision of the Government of Cuba to convene this extraordinary Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas to define the joint contribution of ALBA members to resolve this complex emergency and prevent the spread of Ebola to ALBA Member States.

Cooperation and solidarity are essential.  I urge countries in the region and around the world to follow the lead of Cuba and Venezuela, who have set a commendable example with their rapid response in support of efforts to contain Ebola.

The Government of Cuba dispatched a team of 165 medical aid workers to West Africa in early October, and I welcome Cuba’s plans to send more medical workers soon.  Cuba’s solidarity with other developing countries is well-established.  Over the years, Cuba has sent thousands of medical workers abroad, including to 39 African countries.  Cuba’s proud tradition of training doctors from developing countries has also helped improve medical care around the world.

Venezuela has responded swiftly and generously by contributing $5 million to the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund.  The Fund is a flexible, accountable, strategic and transparent channel for governments, businesses and foundations to support the needs and requirements of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and other partners working to eliminate Ebola in West Africa.

Ebola is no longer a localized public health emergency.  It has wide and profound economic, humanitarian, political and security dimensions.  We must act decisively to relieve the burden on the people and Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and stop the spread of Ebola to other countries.

By convening this timely Summit, ALBA Member States can substantially assist in attaining these objectives.  I wish you a productive meeting.

Statements on 20 October 2014