This online archive is no longer being updated and is only available for reference purposes.
New: Summit outcomes
Outcomes of the recent Global Polio Partners Summit include the Pledge and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Strategic Plan.
See also the Statements page for photos and audio files of participants' statements.
About the Summit
Photo: Participants at the recent Polio Partners Summit stand in front of a clock created specifically for the polio eradication effort. Moments after this photo was taken, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Thaddeus Farrow, who had polio, activated the clock to begin its countdown to 2005.
On 27 September 2000, 150 leaders from the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations gathered at the United Nations at the first Global Polio Partners Summit to pledge their support and commitment to completely eradicate polio from the world. This is the final phase of a campaign that began in 1988 with the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public/private partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), with support from national governments, private foundations such as the United Nations Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, development banks, donor governments, corporations and individuals.
Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, great progress has been made. At the end of 1999, there were approximately 7,000 reported cases of polio and 20,000 estimated cases compared with an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988.
Purpose of the Summit
The purpose of the summit was to re-focus attention on the final plans to eradicate and certify the world polio-free by 2005, and gather momentum and worldwide support. To that end, summit speakers focused on the three main challenges to certifying the world polio-free by 2005:
If these three challenges are addressed, polio will be the second disease ever completely eliminated from the world, after smallpox. There are still 30 remaining polio-infected countries.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan gave the keynote address. Other participants included Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, Ms Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr Frank Devlyn, President of Rotary International, Dr Donna Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Ms Mia Farrow, UNICEF Special Representative, and Mr Ted Turner, Chair, UN Foundation and Vice Chair, Time-Warner, Inc.
The race to reach every child ensures that all children are protected from the scourge of polio. The five-year countdown to certify the world polio free has begun. We need your help to succeed.