Why Global Citizens Should Care
The COVID-19 pandemic will not end anywhere before it ends everywhere, which is why ensuring vaccine equity is critical. At Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, world leaders from around the globe took a stand to support global health, but we must all make sure that resources and vaccine doses are equitably distributed to populations everywhere. Join us by taking action to end the pandemic here.

Global leaders from the United States, France, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and more united to call for vaccine equity and global solidarity at VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World on Saturday.

VAX LIVE helped mobilized more than $302 million in commitments from governments, corporations, and philanthropists to help the world’s most marginalized fight the pandemic, and helped procure more than 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to low-income nations. The funding will also go toward supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care workers and vulnerable communities on the frontlines.

As part of the campaign, US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Croatian Prime Minister Plenković, and more recorded powerful messages of hope for audiences around the world, while pledging “dollars or doses” to end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.

Here are some of the most inspirational quotes from global leaders pledging their support for global vaccine equity at VAX LIVE.

Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain

“I am proud of my country and of the dedication of its people, including public representatives, for showing solidarity in responding to this crisis, that has been so brutal in both Spain and abroad. As leaders, we have devoted ourselves to protect the lives of our citizens, advancing as soon as possible in the recovery of our lives, while leaving no one behind,” Sánchez said. 

“I want to send to the world a simple message that our Ministry of Health has been repeating since this crisis began: We will stop this virus together. Now, we are closer than ever to achieving it. With that hope that is now a reality, let’s continue to fight together.”

Spain has committed to donating 7.5 million doses, or 5% to 10% of its total supply of COVID-19 vaccines, this year.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

“What gives me hope is that every time we have these reminders, that we, I hope, as an international community, come closer together to try and find better responses, to do a better job at protecting our people, and to prevent future generations from having this experience,” Ardern said.

“My hope and desire for the rest of the world is that everyone regardless of developmental status, regardless of wealth, has access to the same tools that everyone needs to look after their citizens.”

New Zealand will donate an additional 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world, for a total of 1.2 million doses.

Joe Biden, President of the United States, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

“We can’t let up now. The vaccines are safe, they work,” President Biden said.

“And we’re working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need. And if we can get this done, we won’t have to miss another moment.”

The United States has announced that it will donate 60 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to countries in need.

Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States

“Today we have a vaccine, and thanks to the ingenuity of scientists, the hard work of manufacturers, the dedication of health care professionals, people around the world are getting vaccinated and in so doing saving lives,” Harris said. 

“If you are already vaccinated, thank you for stepping up. If you’re not, please, when it’s your turn, make the time roll up your sleeves and get your shot. We can do this, we must do this. It is our responsibility as Global Citizens.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

“One person in six has received at least one vaccine dose in Europe. In Africa, it is less than one in 100. This is unacceptable. Now the time has come to share,” Macron said.

“Let’s share our vaccines because it is right. It is good for all of the countries where vaccination becomes possible. And it is good for all of us. This battle against COVID-19 is a global battle. But it is a battle we are fighting together and not against each other.”

France will donate at least 500,000 vaccine doses by June and at least 5% of its total supply of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year. The first shipment from France has already arrived in West Africa.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

“We will end this pandemic but we must all do our part. Governments must invest so that vaccines can reach all countries in the world, businesses and corporations can donate ‘dollars for doses’ to help protect health workers in poor countries,” von der Leyen said. 

“And beyond that, everyone has something to contribute. Wear a mask, keep social distancing, and if you have the possibility to get vaccinated, just do it. Do it for yourself and for your loved ones. And that’s how we can all do our bit to end this pandemic.”

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Since the start of this pandemic, we have been celebrating our frontline workers, our health care professionals, the people who work every day to end this pandemic — whether it is researchers or doctors or scientists,” Trudeau said. 

“But there's one thing we all can do to end the pandemic: that’s getting vaccinated. It's our way, it's a concrete gesture that everyone can do. So, get vaccinated — and we'll get through this faster.”

Canada has pledged an additional CAD $375 million to the ACT-Accelerator to supply COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments to countries in need.

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

“Last year our lives were turned upside down from one day to the next. At this stage, we are all longing to return to normal life. The good news is: We will get there. We will be able to meet new people, to travel, to celebrate important events together, to go to live concerts again, to enjoy being with others,” said Solberg.

“No vaccine should be left unused, our aim is to share surplus doses. We must work together to ensure that vaccine doses are shared as soon as possible.”

Norway has committed to donating all of its surplus doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia

“I very much support the Global Citizen initiative, which will mobilize solidarity of every single person across the globe, because we will end this pandemic only once the entire population has been in the position to receive the vaccine,” Plenković said.

“We shall continue to be one of the countries that supports these activities, both on the national level, but also at the European and global level, too.”

Croatia has pledged €500,000 to COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, and will donate 50,000 doses by the end of June.

Marta Temido, Minister of Health of Portugal

“The pandemic has shown that our individual actions have a real impact on the lives of others. Not only to prevent the spread of the virus, but also to guarantee that no one has to face alone these difficult and exceptional times,” Temido said.

“To sum up, a wish: that the world understands that its frailty may only be overcome by interdependence and cooperation.”

Portugal has committed to start donating at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by June. 

Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy

“Trust science, help each other, respect the rules, and get vaccinated. The best vaccine is the one you can get. Look at the future with confidence: our comeback isn’t far.”

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai

“International cooperation is a really important mechanism that we as government officials have been speaking about for decades. The pandemic has shown us what can happen when we truly do cooperate with one another, but also what doesn’t happen when we don’t,” said Al Hashimy.

“We shouldn’t forget the lessons of this pandemic. We should always remember that whether we like it or not, unless we band together, we’ll never have a fighting chance.”

The UAE will donate 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and support the delivery of 25 million doses to countries in need.

His Holiness Pope Francis

“Dear youngsters in age and in spirit, a very warm greeting from this old man who does not sing nor dance as you do, but who believes, like you, that injustice and evil are not invincible. The coronavirus has provoked much death and suffering, affecting the lives of many, especially the most vulnerable. I beg you not to forget the most vulnerable,” Pope Francis said.

His Holiness called for universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and a temporary suspension of intellectual property rights surrounding the vaccines.

As part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign, VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World brought together artists, entertainers, world leaders, and more to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and celebrate a hopeful future.

You can still catch the concert on the Global Citizen YouTube channel and on various channels and platforms. Be sure to join us in taking action to end the pandemic and ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines. Then, head to our multimedia hub VAX BECAUSE to join candid conversations about the pandemic and find answers to your biggest questions about the vaccines.

Want to take home part of the show? Check out our VAX LIVE merch at the Global Citizen official store.


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13 Inspiring Quotes From World Leaders in Support of 'VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World'

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