New York, 23 April 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks at World Malaria Day NETworking ReceptionThank you very much Mr. Brian Gott of Variety Magazine.
Your Royal Highness,
Honorable and distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me also thank my Special Envoy, Mr. Ray Chambers, Kathy Calvin and all of our friends at the UN Foundation, Variety Magazine and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership for bringing us together.
We are meeting because despite enormous progress, a child dies of malaria every minute. We know how to stop these tragedies. It doesn’t take much. About a dollar for a test or medicine. A few dollars for a net that can protect several children for three years.
Tonight we are here to network.
We need to cast a wide net and bring in all partners.
We have to do this in person … and across the Internet.
We need net income and net gain for net results.
Please, if you speak Russian, think Net, not Nyet.
Invite all of your friends to be part of this – like Annette and Jeanette, Nanette and Lynette.
Our goal is a bed net for everyone on the planet.
We need to cover every bassinet.
We need to attract people like magnets.
Let’s dunk malaria in a basketball net!
I think you get my point: tonight, I am nothing but nets!
What an honour that Shaquille O’Neal joins us.
Thank you, Mr. O’Neal, for collaborating with me on a public service announcement about malaria. We will be showing it in a few minutes.
Everyone knows Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest basketball players in history. He is also an actor and a performer – an all around superstar.
Has anyone heard of Shaq Versus? That’s the TV show where he plays top athletes in their own sports.
Well now he has a new opponent.
Get ready for Shaq Versus Malaria!
We can all learn from Shaquille O’Neal.
It is easy to see his impressive size. But I really appreciate his impressive skills.
When you watch Shaquille O’Neal on the court, you understand that he dominates not because he is big – but because he is smart.
Shaq shows that being strong is only part of what it takes to be powerful.
We can build a big global partnership. We can raise funds. We can spread awareness around the globe.
But we need more than sheer size. We need to be nimble and quick to score victories. We need to fake out malaria … or take a risky shot from downtown … or pass the ball to another player and let them get the glory if that’s what it takes.
I have made malaria a top priority in my five-year action agenda for the United Nations.
To succeed, I need all of you.
One of the best players on our team is Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium.
She has travelled around the world to raise awareness about malaria and to demand action.
Just last week, she was in Asia to help launch Indonesia’s national Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
She is a mother of five who is working to make sure that every pregnant woman is protected against malaria and that every child grows up free of the disease.
Princess Astrid is using her enormous platform and compassionate voice to push for progress. Since 2007, she has been devoting herself to this cause as a Special Representative of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
Along the way, she has met with countless parents and children, midwives and doctors, business executives, and government leaders.
Your Royal Highness, I have been honoured in the past to campaign against malaria with you.
This evening I have the great privilege of recognizing your immense contribution.
Please join me on stage.
Your Royal Highness, you were born into an environment that very few people experience. But much more impressive than your background is what you have done with your life to benefit the lives of so many others.
On behalf of the global community, I present you this Award in recognition of your bold leadership and your tireless efforts to realize a world free of malaria.
Thank you very much.
Statements on 23 April 2012
- New York, 23 April 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks at Dinner Hosted by H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Belgium in Conjunction with World Malaria Day [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 23 April 2012 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan
- New York, 23 April 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks to High Level Delegation of Mayors and Regional Authorities [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 23 April 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks to the Commission on Population and Development