Ban Ki-moon receives polio champion award
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) receives the Polio Eradication Champion Award from RI President Dong Kurn Lee and Foundation Trustee Jonathan B. Majiyagbe on 21 June during the 2009 RI Convention in Birmingham, England. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation presented United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the Polio Eradication Champion Award on 21 June during the 2009 RI Convention in Birmingham, England.
The award is given to outstanding and dedicated leaders in the fight to End Polio Now. RI President Dong Kurn Lee and Foundation Trustee Chair Jonathan B. Majiyagbe presented the award to Ban during the second seating of the opening plenary session.
Ban said he was deeply humbled by the honor. He dedicated the award to the three polio immunization volunteers who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2008.
"Let us give them a big applause," Ban told the crowded hall. "This honor is for them."
Ban also paid tribute to all the Rotarians who have sacrificed time and effort to take part in immunization drives, volunteering in hostile areas, working through storms, droughts, and disasters. He said this vast army of volunteers has brought the world very close to the goal of eradicating polio.
"Without your support, the world could not have come this close," he said.
Ban said the award also serves as inspiration to the United Nations to move ahead in the global effort to eradicate polio in partnership with Rotary so that "one day very soon, we can live in a polio-free world."
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