17 October 2001
Thank you Minister Minna.
On behalf of the GAVI Board, I want to extend my thanks to Canada for their contribution to GAVI and the Vaccine Fund. CIDA played a key role in the establishment of GAVI and I congratulate them in their continued commitment to global immunization.
These are difficult times and Canada's contribution is a public statement endorsing the importance of investing in immunization, despite increasingly competing priorities.
GAVI is evolving. In just under two years since its launch at Davos, GAVI has approved applications from 36 of the world's poorest countries for vaccines and resources to strengthen their immunization programmes. GAVI partners at country level-including governments, NGOs, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank--have been working together to support the application process and the development of multi-year immunization plans, as well as implementation and monitoring.
GAVI is all about partnerships. It is about key players in global immunization joining forces and committing themselves to a shared mission and common goals. Our goal is to ensure that even the poorest children in the world have access to available live-saving vaccines, and have the opportunity to access new and under-used vaccines wherever possible.
Recent events in the world have made it clearer than ever that no country is immune to infectious disease. It has also become clearer than ever that we need to have systems in place to be able to use new vaccines as they become available or when they are needed to contain unexpected outbreaks.
I again congratulate and thank Canada for their contribution to GAVI and commitment to immunization.