[2022-01-31] The multilateral health system must be strengthened with the UN at its core

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@ The Elders

Ban Ki-moon highlights the global challenges to public health and sustainability in the coming decade.

Below is the official message of Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former Secretary-General of the United Nations

COVID-19 has dominated the world for two years now and it is clear that it will have a profound effect on public health, economic growth and social cohesion for many years.

The pandemic has both highlighted and deepened the chasms of inequality between and within nations. The marginalization and vulnerability of women and girls, and their ability to access their rights to justice has been exacerbated.

Particularly when we consider the continuing scandal of global vaccine inequity, it is public health disaster and damning indictment of our collective failure to respond to the pressures of the pandemic with solidarity and commitment to social justice.

The challenge is to strengthen and improve the multilateral system, with the United Nations at its core.

Global citizens must work together through democratic institutions and public fora to bring pressure to bear on their leaders and hold them accountable for their actions.

We need to treat the experience of COVID-19 as a “wake-up call”.

We now have less than a decade to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and we have to spur us into action.

Although this task appears daunting, I remain inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Click for original speech

    This speech was delivered on 29 January 2022

as part of the closing session of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2022.