New York

10 April 2013

Secretary-General's message to Envision 2013: Stories of the Global Health Challenge [delivered by Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information]

I am pleased to send warm wishes to all participants gathered for Envision 2013. Your focus on stories of the global health challenge comes at a critical moment. 
This week marks 1,000 days until the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, our collective blueprint for a better future.

Since 2000, we have made great strides in forging partnerships to ensure that medicines and health supplies reach all people, especially mothers and children. 
We have fostered innovation to find new solutions to longstanding problems. And we have set up tracking systems so that our efforts are open and accountable.

The Every Woman Every Child movement is a shining example of a global partnership to reach the ambitious but achievable goals for maternal and child health.
We have made also progress against HIV and AIDS.  The end of polio is in sight.  Malaria deaths are decreasing, although we need more resources to maintain progress. And we need a greater push to accelerate progress against tuberculosis, which hits the poor especially hard.

Improving global health demands commitment from leaders, determination from partners and the engagement of global citizens.  It also depends crucially on raising awareness.  Those of you whose lives are dedicated to storytelling have enormous reach and impact.  Through the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative, we are working closely with the entertainment industry to spread our messages and inspire action.

As Secretary-General, I have travelled to health posts, clinics and hospitals around the world.  I have seen the drama of life-saving services and medicines.
I have witnessed the immense relief on the faces of women in labour when they arrive at a clinic.  I have admired the compassion of health workers who heroically brave risks to treat the sick.  And I have tried to impress on leaders around the world that success in these areas is essential to achieving human rights, advancing progress and establishing peace.

All of you can help convey this message to the world.  I hope Envision 2013 will inspire you to help galvanize action for a better future, and in that spirit, I wish you great success.