Monday, October 27, 2014

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Speaks to the press from Addis Ababa

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure to visit Addis Ababa again at this time.  I am very pleased  to be joined by Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; and I also appreciate our partners from the African Union, the Islamic Development Bank and the European Union.

Our organizations are united in our determination to support the Horn of Africa.

This is my third joint visit with World Bank President Kim and our partner organizations.  Our visits last year to the Great Lakes and the Sahel provided timely political and financial support to those regions.  We hope to do the same here this week as we visit Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.

We are carrying three main messages.

First, this is a moment of opportunity for the Horn of Africa.  The region faces serious challenges, from drought to terrorism and extremism.  But the region includes some of the continent’s most dynamic economies, and there has also been important progress towards political stability.  Now is the time for the international community to strengthen its support for these efforts.

Second, peace and development in the Horn of Africa are mutually reinforcing.  Here in Africa or anywhere in the world, we will not enjoy one without the other.

With Dr. Kim when have travelled the Sahel and Great lakes region, our message has been very clear that peace cannot be sustaisnable without development and likewise development cannot be promoted without peace and security. This is what we will send out throughout our visit to the Horn of Africa countries.

Third, regional cooperation, integration and dialogue are essential.  Conflicts and other problems transcend borders; so must our solutions.

Earlier today, we met with the Foreign Ministers of IGAD Member States.  We also met with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and expressed our gratitude for the country’s contribution to regional peace and security and for opening its doors to so many refugees.

In our meeting with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and briefly with Dr. Zuma of the African Union – tomorrow we will have more in depth discussions on how to address the Ebola outbreak -- we discussed the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the determination of the United Nations system in collaboration with the regional institutions and countries to do all in our power to beat the virus through rapid and robust action. In this battle, each day, each hour matters. It is also clear that we need to isolate cases – not countries. Ebola is a global problem that demands a massive and immediate global response.

The entire United Nations system, including the World Bank, is mobilized to do all it can, including through UNMEER, the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. For my part, as Secretary-General, I am on the phone with world leaders day and night to raise funds for these efforts. The curve of transmission can be bent down if the needed resources and organization are available. We must intensify our efforts in achieving a substantial increase in materials and financial contributions to save lives and protect communities.

I commend Dr. Zuma of the African Union for visiting the three affected countries. I am grateful for the many pledges by African nations to send medical personnel. Regional solidarity will be crucial in ending transmission of the virus and helping the affected countries on the road to recovery.

Finally, I’d like to tell you about all this stigma. Returning health workers who have managed to avoid infection are exceptional people who are giving to humanity. They should not be subjected to restrictions that have no scientific basis. They should not be stigmatized for their selfless service. We depend on them to fight this battle. Please do not quarantine them because they have volunteered to serve in the affected countries.

Thank you for your attention.