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The Secretary-General's message on World Malaria Day 2015

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ban-ki-moon25 April 2015 - Last year, the World Health Organization reported that the rate at which people are dying from malaria has fallen by almost half since the beginning of this century.

One reason for this substantial improvement is the increased availability of insecticide-treated bed nets. In 2013 – the most recent year for which we have statistics – almost half of all people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa had access to an insecticide-treated net, up from just 3 per cent in 2004.

It is also because of massively improved access to accurate malaria diagnostics and effective treatment. In 2013, the number of rapid diagnostic tests procured globally increased to 319 million, up from 46 million in 2008. The same year, 392 million courses of artemisinin-based combination therapies – a key intervention to treat malaria – were procured, up from 11 million in 2005.

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The Secretary-General’s Message on International Mother Earth Day

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22 April 2015 - The word ‘mother’ holds great power.  It evokes memories of the women who gave us life, nurtured us as infants and helped mould us into who we are today.  The Earth is the ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms.  As humans, we outgrow the need for constant maternal care.  But we can never outgrow our reliance on Mother Earth.  As long as we live, we need air, water, fertile soil and the countless other gifts this planet bestows.

This dependence makes it all the more astonishing that we have allowed rapid and often unwise human development to disrupt so many of the delicate systems that have functioned harmoniously for millennia.  We are increasingly aware of the damage our species has wrought – the pollution, the dwindling resources, the species of flora and fauna forever gone, the rush towards tipping points that may alter the way our planet functions.  Even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways.

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Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on attack in Garowe, Somalia

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20apr15ROME/NEW YORK, 20 APRIL 2015 - "The horrific attack on our UNICEF colleagues today in northern Somalia is an assault not only on them but on the people they served. Our immediate thoughts are with the families of the four staff members who were killed and with those who were injured. All of us at UNICEF are deeply saddened, and deeply angered.

"Our colleagues dedicated their lives to working for the children of Somalia. They are not victims. They and those who were wounded are heroes. We mourn their loss and hope for the full recovery of the injured.

"Our continuing work for the most vulnerable children and their families in Somalia will be a fitting tribute to those we have lost."

For more information, please contact:

  • James Elder, Regional Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Nairobi, Mobile +254 715 581 222 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Edward Carwardine, Deputy Director of Communication, UNICEF, New York. Mobile +1 917 310 8969 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Secretary-General’s message on World Health Day

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7 April 2015 - “From farm to plate: make food safe”

Food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.  Potential new threats to food safety are emerging all the time.  Changes to the way food is produced, distributed and consumed, the emergence of resistant bacteria, and increases in travel and trade make it difficult to manage pathogens and contaminants once they are in our food supply.

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The Secretary-General’s Message on World Health Day 2015

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ban-ki-moon7 April 2015 - "From farm to plate: make food safe" Food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Potential new threats to food safety are emerging all the time. Changes to the way food is produced, distributed and consumed, the emergence of resistant bacteria, and increases in travel and trade make it difficult to manage pathogens and contaminants once they are in our food supply.

Unsafe food is a largely under-reported and often overlooked global problem. With the food supply chain stretching around the world, the need to strengthen food safety systems within and among countries is becoming more critical. That is why, on World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries and all actors to improve food safety from farm to plate and everywhere in between.

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The Secretary-General’s message on the international day of Sport for development and peace

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ban-ki-moonNew York, 6 April 2015 - The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace highlights the role sport can play in achieving sustainable progress and change.

Sport has the power to help develop the potential of individuals, communities and nations. It encourages personal growth, is a major force in eliminating gender barriers and can build bridges across lines that might otherwise divide.

Sport nurtures society by creating a culture in which fundamental values such as equality, the acceptance of rules, mutual respect and fairness are appreciated.

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The Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

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4 April 2015 - Today we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.  In the past decade, much progress has been made towards eradicating the threat of anti-personnel landmines, with 162 States now Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.  

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The Secretary-General’s message on World Autism Awareness Day

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New York, 2 April 2015 - I am hugely encouraged by the growing public awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the increase of public services to many of those affected. World Autism Awareness Day not only fosters greater understanding, it empowers parents into seeking early intervention therapies and calls for the full integration of persons with autism into society. It also invites policy-makers to encourage schools to open their doors to students with autism. With adequate support, they can -- and should -- be educated in the heart of their communities. Now is the time for even greater access and work opportunities for persons with autism.

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The Secretary-General’s message on World Tuberculosis Day

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24 March 2015 - With some 37 million lives saved between 2000 and 2013 through the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, it is clear that we are within sight of one of the great global health victories.  We have the opportunity not just to reverse the spread of TB but, by 2035, to end this epidemic that continues to bring suffering to so many families worldwide.

But victory is not guaranteed.  An estimated 9 million people fell ill with TB in 2013, and 1.5 million died.  So, on this World Tuberculosis Day I urge governments, communities affected by TB and health workers around the world to intensify their efforts in line with the ambitious strategy established by the World Health Assembly in 2014 to end the global epidemic within two decades.

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