High-Level Side Meeting: "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: the Legacy of a Polio-free World" at the General Assembly of the United Nations
September 27, 2012
- On Thursday, September 27 (New York time), on the occasion of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a high-level side meeting, "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World." The meeting was attended by over 200 people from various governments, international organizations, and private institutions, including Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Ms. Julia Gillard Prime Minister of Australia; and Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba represented Japan at the event.
- Referring to the importance of strengthening efforts in Pakistan and Nigeria to eradicate polio, Minister Gemba emphasized that "full-cast diplomacy" mobilizing every available resource and expertise of all stakeholders is critical in the fight against polio. As an example of this, he introduced Japan's recent partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on campaigns against polio in Pakistan,(note) as well as Japan's other supports through its grant assistance scheme and through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Meeting participants highly appreciated the contributions made by Japan and concurred with Minister Gemba in his call on the international community to stand as one in the fight against polio.
- Meeting participants reaffirmed the importance of the collective efforts of the international community for the final push to eradicate polio.
(note) In August 2011, the Government of Japan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan exchanged notes on the provision of a loan of approximately 65 million US dollars for Pakistan's national campaign against polio. Upon the successful outcome of these campaigns, the Gates Foundation will repay the loan on behalf of the Pakistani Government.
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