I am pleased to be with you this evening.
I thank the Government of São Tomé and Principe, and with the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, the United African Congress and the Give them a Hand Foundation for organizing this concert.
We are here to celebrate progress and urge solidarity in the final push to defeat Ebola, and help the affected countries build for a better future.
Last December, I visited West Africa to see how much has been achieved by the people and governments of Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone.
I came back inspired by the courage of the survivors and those working selflessly at the front lines.
Five months ago, the forecast was bleak.
Cases were doubling every two to three weeks.
But today, we face a very different situation. We know that Ebola can be beaten.
At the heart of the success has been the response of communities and local and national authorities.
And behind them, we have seen an unprecedented global coalition of governments, regional organizations, civil society actors, development banks and philanthropic foundations.
Countries from near and far, of great and small states, have deployed experts, donated supplies and contributed funds.
The United Nations has played an important role.
The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response – UNMEER – is our first-ever emergency health mission.
It has helped to scale up and direct the response.
Now we face a critical turning point.
There are encouraging signs that the worst of the outbreak is behind us.
This year has seen a significant decline in new cases.
Surge efforts are under way to bring the outbreaks further under control ahead of the rains.
The UN system is committed to reaching the target set by the Presidents of the Mano River Union of no more new cases by mid-April.
The Ebola-affected countries can do this – but they need the continued help of the international community.
Tomorrow, the European Commission will host a high-level conference in Brussels to help focus global resolve on finishing the job of ending Ebola in West Africa.
Nobody can afford to drop their guard.
The outbreak began with one case and will not be over until all countries are totally free of Ebola.
And after the outbreak is over, there will be much work to do to help the affected countries recover and build back stronger and more resilient.
So tonight, I appeal to you to help the United Nations as we support this important work.
You can contribute directly to UN agencies, funds and programmes, or to my Trust Fund, which has been designed to finance critical gaps in the response.
Thanks to our collective efforts, the end of the road is in sight.
But the last mile may well be the hardest.
Let us therefore act resolutely and with unity of purpose to end this cruel outbreak and support recovery.
Let us show the affected countries that we continue to stand with them in solidarity by providing the resources they need for the job at hand.
I thank you for your support.