United Arab Emirates Hosts Polio Eradication: A Call to Action, a UN General Assembly Side Event

NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2014 / PRNewswire — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of International Cooperation and Development is hosting a UN General Assembly side event in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative on Monday, September 22, entitled: “Polio Eradication: A Call to Action.” The master of ceremonies will be Dr. Richard Besser, chief ABC News Medical Editor; chaired by Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, UAE; and will be delivered on behalf of HE Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi.

“The recent announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that polio has now become a global health emergency is a great tragedy and challenge,” said HE Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi. “The UAE is committed to addressing this urgent global health issue, having funded several large polio elimination campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. The goal of this meeting around the UN General Assembly is to help to galvanise additional support for the steps necessary to eradicate the disease completely. The discussion will be framed within the broader context of the need for a greater focus on primary healthcare.”

Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will moderate the discussion. Participants include:

  • Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General for World Health Organization
  • Ayesha Farooq, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Focal Point for Polio
  • Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program, Gates Foundation

The event will be held Monday, September 22, 2014, with a breakfast reception at 8:00am followed by a discussion from 8:30am – 10:00am in the South Dining Room on the fourth floor of the UN Secretariat building.

The UAE is now among the top stratum of international donors to foreign aid causes. The nation is committed to working with the international community on development issues, including by taking a proactive role in helping countries to achieve their national development targets in line with the Millennium Development Goals, and contributing towards the formation of the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2011 HH the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed al Nahyan has pledged over $200m USD to vaccinate children in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Over 7,500,0000 children have already been vaccinated using these funds.

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Media Contact:
Elise Flick
KARV Communications