by Sixto Duran Ballen, President of the Republic of Ecuador
This day brings us great satisfaction and fills us with optimism because it marks a step which is of fundamental importance to our efforts at offering the people better living conditions and thus, a better future for all. These are our concerns and we have been working towards this since the first day of our administration.
The fact that Ecuador has achieved in intermediate goal of the determined struggle to eliminate diseases caused by iodine deficiency illustrates the attitude of my Government towards the implementation of its social program. What we are trying to do above all is help Ecuador achieve better health for its population.
The efforts made by the Ministry of Health with the technical and financial assistance of international organizations deserve recognition. You have given this recognition to me as the representative of the Ecuadorian people, and for this I thank you.
The Ecuadorian Government and I, personally, are convinced that honest social programs should depend only on finding solutions for the most important needs of society, and not on personal or political calculations.
The transparency of social work resides then in its authenticity and efficiency, and it is because of that spirit that we are now, with great satisfaction, beginning to harvest the first fruits.
According to the indisputable reports of the World and Pan American Health Organizations, and the United Nations Children's Fund, Ecuador has achieved the goal of providing iodized salt for 90 percent of the population, a fact which guarantees that by the year two thousand the problems caused by iodine deficiency disorders will have been eliminated. We are proud of this achievement. The figures show hat the work we have carried out has produced significant results, and we are committed to achieving the goals proposed by the Minister of Health by 1995.
We could say, then, that in Ecuador the social indicators are beginning to recover and this is our major concern.
Allow me to take a few minutes to explain the National Government's philosophy of social action. It is based, Ladies and Gentlemen, on a solid and ...