Monday, 21 November 2011
Statements by Members
There were a number of important announcements made at the recent successful CHOGM held in Perth, but one in particular struck me as highly significant. This was the pledge by a number of nations, including Australia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the UK and Canada, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to significantly increase funding commitments for the eradication of the debilitating disease of polio.
Australia is contributing $50 million over four years to this end. The campaign over more than two decades to end polio has resulted in the number of polio cases being slashed by 99 per cent. However, one per cent of cases remain in four countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan—three of these being Commonwealth countries.
I want to acknowledge the efforts of Rotary International and the Global Poverty Project—in particular, Perth local Michael Sheldrick, who organised a fantastic concert on the Friday night of the CHOGM week to raise awareness of the campaign to end polio. The world is so close to eradicating polio. (Time expired)