More than two dozen world leaders met to discuss how to end the spread of the Ebola virus at a special gathering at the United Nations (UN) on Thursday.
“The world can and must stop Ebola – now,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “We come together today in solidarity with the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as they face the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen. There is overwhelming international political momentum for the United Nations to play a leading role in coordinating the global response.”
Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), voiced her agreement.
“Every day, every minute, counts,” Chan said. “We need to talk, but we also need to act with speed and efficiency and in ways that deal this virus some heavy blows.”
Among the world leaders present at the meeting were Guinean President Alpha Condé. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma participated via teleconference.
“This is a fight for all of us,” Koroma said.
The Ebola virus has infected 6,263 people and killed 2,917 as of Sept. 21, according to statistics released to WHO by health ministries in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.