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FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell attends United Nations session on polio eradication
Sandro Rosell participated in this afternoon’s high-level United Nations session ‘Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World.’ The session, which included government representatives and delegates from Canada, Japan, Nigeria and Pakistan, gathered senior leaders from across the globe and private institutions that collaborate in the fight against polio. Mr. Rosell was invited to the session by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to participate in the event on behalf of the FC Barcelona Foundation.
Rosell: “We reflect the attitude of our players”
The goal of the UN session was to unite the efforts of all implicated parties and set a roadmap for the eradication of polio. Rosell led one of the break-out sessions and he took the opportunity to highlight FC Barcelona’s efforts, through the FC Barcelona Foundation, in the fight against the infections disease.
“We show our utmost support for the eradication of polio. Our players, through football, live according to their values and lead by example in how to win, lose and how to respect norms and opponents. We reflect this attitude in the fight against this disease,” said Mr. Rosell, who added: “FC Barcelona is a Club from Catalonia where democracy, peace and harmony make up the foundation of our identity.” In addition, Mr. Rosell pointed out that the collective fight against the infection disease by the FC Barcelona Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be strengthened by the newly pledged support and contribution from the Etisalat Corporation.
Gates: “We have to act quickly against polio”
Bill Gates noted that “with everyone’s help, we can eradicate polio. But we must act quickly.” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was equally as emphatic. “This is a decisive moment in terms of health and justice. Every child has the right to start his life with the same protection against this disease. For this reason I consider the eradication of polio a priority in my second term as Secretary General,” he said.
The worldwide fight against Polio
Polio, a disease that’s preventable through vaccination, generally affects children under the age of five. In 1988, the disease was endemic in 125 countries, but that number has dropped considerably in the last 24 years. Currently polio is only endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. We have an unprecedented opportunity to write a new chapter in human history and end polio forever.