UN chief to convene high-level meeting on Ebola

United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene a meeting of world leaders during the General Assembly’s annual high-level session in response to the deadly Ebola virus outbreak, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.

The “High-level Meeting on Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak” is scheduled at the UN headquarters in New York Thursday.

“This meeting will bring together global leaders to focus international attention to combat the outbreak of Ebola virus disease,” Xinhua quoted Ban’s spokesman as saying.

“It aims to mobilize an exceptional response to contain and stop the spread of the virus, treat those who are infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent outbreaks in other countries.”

The attendees including Guinean President Alpha Conde, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma will tune in to the meeting via teleconference, according to the spokesman.

The meeting will also feature statements by representatives from UN member states and from global entities such as the World Health Organization, the African Union Commission, the European Commission, the World Bank Group and the International Federation of Red Cross.

More than 2,800 people have been killed by deadly outbreak, with the overwhelming majority of the deaths happening in the three western African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the WHO.

Efforts to control the spread of the deadly virus in West Africa have been ramped up. Earlier in the day, the UN chief announced the appointment of David Nabarro as his Special Envoy for Ebola and Anthony Banbury as his Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

The announcements were made after WHO said Tuesday that unless Ebola control measures in West Africa are enhanced quickly, more than 20,000 people will have been infected by early November.

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