Saturday, October 6, 2012

A big post - but it is BIG news!

Last week was an exciting one for Rotary and polio eradication and we wanted to share some of the great highlights from the events in New York.
In a historic special session on polio eradication during the UN General Assembly, Rotary Foundation Chair Wilf announced to world leaders and our polio eradication partners that Rotary is pledging another US$75 million to fight polio, adding to our total contribution of nearly $1.2 billion since the launch of our PolioPlus program in 1985. Chair Wilf also presented Secretary-General Ban with our online petition in support of polio eradication, signed by more than 6,000 concerned citizens from around the world via our new web site,
You can watch the entire session here (TRF Chair Wilf speaks at the 54:40 mark), and view additional photos here.
Rotary’s leadership role was repeatedly recognized by the Secretary-General and other leaders.  “I am especially grateful to the Rotarians and Rotary International,” Ban said. “They launched PolioPlus in 1985, when people suffered from polio in more than 125 countries. Since then, Rotary International joined forces with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to lead the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brought us to this decisive moment.”
General Secretary  John Hewko and Marga
will be riding 111 miles in the El Tour de Tucson Ride
The weekend gave Rotary a chance to share the polio eradication message with the whole world, during the Global Citizen Festival concert, held in Central Park.  The concert, organized by the Global Poverty Project, was headlined by major performing artists, including rock legend and polio survivor Neil Young.  More than 60,000 people saw the concert live.
Just before Neil Young took the stage, the End Polio Now message was driven home by actress Archie Panjabi, a Rotary “This Close” campaign celebrity; Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, daughter of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari; Ramesh Ferris, a Canadian Rotarian and polio survivor; and John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary.
View photos here and watch the polio segmentOur commitment to eradicating polio remains strong and efforts like these take us one step closer to achieving that goal!