Global Citizen Live is nearly here, and now two of the strongest voices on vaccine equity are joining the once-in-a-generation event on Saturday, Sept. 25: Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry and Meghan will join the 24-hour global broadcast event live from the Great Lawn in New York City’s Central Park, to continue their urgent work with world leaders in the pursuit of global vaccine equity to end the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere.
The Global Citizen Live campaign is calling on G7 countries (the world’s wealthiest nations) and the European Union to immediately share at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses with those most in need and support calls for a waiver on COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights. The campaign is also calling on Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna to share mRNA technology with the new World Health Organization-backed transfer hub based in South Africa.
This certainly won’t be the first time The Duke and Duchess have raised their voices about the issue of vaccine equity. As co-chairs of Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World in May — which called on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to ensure vaccines are available to all — they penned an open letter to Big Pharma CEOs, calling on them to urgently share COVID-19 vaccines with the world’s poorest countries.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health, social, and economic inequality globally,” they wrote. “The global vaccine rollout thus far further deepens these disparities, with the poorest and most marginalized populations most adversely impacted.”
And to celebrate their son Archie’s second birthday, they led a global fundraising effort to support Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is co-leading the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility to get vaccines to people in low-income countries who need them most. The initiative — thanks in part to donations matched by Mastercard Impact Fund, Seadream Family Foundation, and a public charity — ultimately mobilized $3.5 million.
“The virus does not respect borders, and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography,” Prince Harry said on the VAX LIVE stage. “It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.”
Months later, vaccine equity remains a dire issue. Coronavirus variants are spreading across the world, people in poor nations still can’t access vaccinations or treatments, and rich countries continue to hoard vaccines as they move forward with COVID-19 booster plans (despite the World Health Organization and other health experts saying such plans at this stage will only exacerbate extreme vaccine inequity). The Duke and Duchess’ message is sure to be one world leaders need to hear.
Additional appearances announced Tuesday for the global broadcast event include United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley, Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif, Namati CEO Vivek Maru, Rotary President-elect Jennifer Jones, SDG Champion and Advocate Eddie Ndopu, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, Paris Peace Forum Steering Committee President Trisha Shetty, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., UN Next Generation Fellow Valeria Colunga, advocate Eunice Akoth, and more.
As part of our year-long Recovery Plan for the World campaign, Global Citizen Live will showcase a day of unity spanning seven continents, bringing together more than 70 artists, activists, and world leaders to defend the planet and defeat poverty.
In addition to focusing on vaccine equity, Global Citizen Live will call on the wealthiest nations to deliver on their promise to give $100 billion annually to address the climate needs of developing countries; urge US citizens to contact their representatives to pass the largest climate protection bill in American history in order to set the US on track to at least halve emissions by 2030; call on businesses to help curb emissions through joining the Race to Zero and pledge to plant 1 billion additional trees by 2022 in support of 1t.org; and push the G7 and the world's billionaires to end the hunger crisis by contributing at least $6 billion for meals for the 41 million people on the brink of starvation.
Artists and advocates donating their time and talent to the global broadcast include: Adam Lambert, Alessia Cara, Alok, Andrea Bocelli, Angélique Kidjo, Billie Eilish, Black Eyed Peas, BTS, Burna Boy, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth, Christine and the Queens, Criolo, Coldplay, Cyndi Lauper, Davido, Deborra-Lee Furness, Delta Goodrem, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Duran Duran, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Fatma Said, Femi Kuti, Green Day, H.E.R., Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Batiste, Keith Urban, Kylie Minogue, Lang Lang, Liniker, Lizzo, Lorde, Made Kuti, Måneskin, Mart’nália, Meek Mill, Metallica, Mosquito, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Rag’n’Bone Man, Ricky Martin, Shawn Mendes, The Lumineers, Tiwa Savage, Tropkillaz, and more.
You won’t want to miss this epic event. Learn how you can watch Global Citizen Live wherever you are in the world here, and take action now to defend the planet, defeat poverty, and end the pandemic here.
You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defend the planet and defeat poverty by taking action here, and become part of a movement powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make change.