Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on World Health Day

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
April 7, 2011


On World Health Day, as every day, we are compelled by our common interests and values to care for the vulnerable and tend to the sick. At the United Nations, we work on these critical issues daily to save lives and address the conditions that make the world more just and conflict less likely.

As President Obama said at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September, “When a child dies from a preventable disease, it shocks all of our consciences…When a disease goes unchecked, it can endanger the health of millions around the world.” In that address, the President announced his Global Development Policy, which formally elevated development as a core national security interest and included a plan to streamline and strengthen life-saving efforts through the Global Health Initiative.

In just six months since the MDG Summit, the United States has pledged historic commitments to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. We have supported an important new initiative at the UN to address non-communicable diseases – from cancer to heart and lung disease to diabetes. We have renewed our focus on maternal and child health. We have worked to eradicate the last vestiges of polio in Asia and Africa. We have expanded our understanding of autism through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And we have driven reforms in the way we disburse resources, recognizing that we are ultimately measured not by the dollars we spend but by the lives we save.

Let us always view the fight to strengthen global health as a moral calling and a vital national interest in the pursuit of a world that is safer, more prosperous, and more just.


PRN: 2011/073