As thousands of people gathered in Geneva at the United Against Malaria Concert – a major fund-raising event held over weekend – Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the audience that the event demonstrated a growing international will to combat the disease.
“Together we can change the world and extend this vast movement of solidarity reflected in tonight’s concert,” Mr. Annan told the performers and guests at Saturday evening’s event, stressing that he shared the same goal of improving the world for all of its inhabitants.
Some 6,000 people showed up for the 60th anniversary concert, which was cosponsored by the UN Office at Geneva and has already raised funds for 50,000 mosquito nets.
“Collectively you can make a huge difference,” he said. “Having joined this movement of solidarity to assist the poor and to ensure that we have a more equitable world, please stick with it.”
The United Nations, he stressed, was written in the name of “We the Peoples.”
“That is you out there, not the bureaucrats in the building,” Mr. Annan said. “You are the United Nations.”
The concert featured Youssou N'Dour and friends, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Peter Gabriel, Axelle Red, Rokia Traoré as well as other guest artists from all five continents committed to fighting malaria.
“Music touches people’s hearts and minds,” said Mr. N’Dour, Roll Back Malaria Partnership Special Envoy and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, during rehearsal for Saturday’s concert. “We must continue to use our music to tell the world about malaria: that it can be prevented, it can be treated, and it can be beaten if everyone joins the fight.”