New York

23 October 2012

Secretary-General's remarks at reception by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in support of UNICEF and Every Woman Every Child (As prepared for delivery)

This has been a wonderful evening.

Ambassador Kim, thank you for your hospitality, and congratulations on the election of the Republic of Korea to the Security Council.

Thank you, too, to the Korean National Committee for UNICEF, our co-hosts this evening. 

I thank Ms. Park, Vice President of the UNICEF National Committee of Korea, and Mr. John Ryu, our dynamic Executive Director of UNICEF, Korea.  You are helping to make a profound difference in children’s lives. 

My wife and I have fond memories of our recent visit to your offices in Seoul.  It was a very moving experience to meet so many supporters of UNICEF.

Let me also thank Mr. Young-Doo Yoon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Asiana Airlines, for his commitment to the UNICEF Change for Good programme.  You should know that my wife and I always put our small change into the UNICEF envelope whenever we fly Asiana and other airlines.

I thank chairman Park Sam-koo, whose initiative it was to paint the UNICEF logo on the Asiana planes.  This is a hugely successful advertisement for UNICEF, and I know Tony Lake deeply appreciates your support.

Partnership has become an imperative to meeting our most critical global challenges. 

From energy to health, from food security to climate change, we are most effective when we bring all relevant actors together – governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.

I saw the power of partnership last year when I visited a clinic in Nigeria.

I met a young mother called Vera.  She had just given birth to a healthy daughter – and she was overjoyed.   She said the nurses had named the baby Ban Ki-moon!

I have seen the same joy and optimism echoed in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia.

Thanks to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, more women are surviving and more children are thriving.

We are getting more money for health, and more health for our money.

Every Woman Every Child is one of our most successful partnerships.

But we still have a long way to go.

There are still far too many needless deaths.

Our target is to save 16 million lives over the next five years.

That is why Every Woman Every Child will remain a priority as we look towards the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals and as we define the post-2015 development agenda.

Healthy mothers and healthy children make healthy societies.

And giving them health is a job for all.

Everyone in this room has a role to play.

I commend all your good work, your commitment and your leadership, and I urge you to bring even more resources to bear on this urgent challenge.

No woman should lose life giving life.

And no child should come into this world motherless.

Every woman is our sister and mother.  Every child is our daughter or son.

In Nigeria, Vera told me that she wants her daughter to follow in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale.

She wants her to touch lives positively.

Let us all pledge to do the same.

Thank you.