In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York today, the Australian Prime Minister lent her support of addressing the global burden of malaria. In her speech which detailed the practical progress necessary towards realising global goals in the world, Julia Gillard announced that Australia would support the global fight against drug resistant malaria, stating “the Secretary-General has made malaria one of his key priorities for his second term. It is a priority we share.”
The Prime Minster also identified the clear relationship between addressing malaria, and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals in the next three years. She described 2015 as both a goal and new point of departure for much new work. ”Where the world has fallen short of ambitious goals, our response must be action, not disillusion,” said Ms Gillard. “This is what Australia will do. We will act.”
Earlier this year, the Australian Prime Minister accepted Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s invitation to co-chair the Millennium Development Goal Advocacy Group and to continue to advocate for practical progress in the coming three years. These goals include the eradication of extreme poverty, halving the incidence of malarial infections, cutting child-related mortality rated by two-thirds, and reversing the spread of HIV & AIDS.
Ms Gillard pledged Australia’s contribution towards the important work of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, affirming Australia considerable national experience in working with least developed countries – especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
Later this year, Sydney will host Malaria 2012, bringing together political leaders, civil society and the private sector to accelerate efforts to control and eliminate malaria and combat climbing rates of drug resistance. Since 2000, the world has cut the number of deaths from malaria by 26 per cent. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2010 there were over 30 million malaria cases and 42,000 deaths in the Asia-Pacific Region.
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Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.