27 September 2012 – In a display of solidarity, leaders from around the world vowed to capitalize on the progress achieved this year in eradicating polio and step up the fight in eradicating the disease. Heads of State from Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan stood alongside donor government officials and new donors from the public and private sector to outline what is needed to stamp out this disease forever – long-term commitment of resources, application of innovative best practices, and continued leadership and accountability at all levels of government in endemic countries.
“This decisive moment is a matter of health and justice. Every child should have the right to start life with equal protection from this disease. That’s why I have made eradicating polio a top priority for my second term as Secretary-General,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Earlier this year, at the World Health Assembly, 194 Member States declared the completion of polio eradication to be a “programmatic emergency for global public health.” In order to look beyond short-term challenges, however, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is developing a long-term roadmap for ending polio. The strategy also will ensure that the legacy of investments in polio supports other vaccine-preventable disease goals.
“Failure to eradicate polio is unforgiveable, forever. Failure is not an option. No single one of us can bring this long, hard drive over the last hurdle. But together we can,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.