Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently addressed the 60,000-strong crowd at the Citizen Live concert in New York to highlight issues ofvaccine equity.
The Sussexes took to the stage advocating for COVID vaccines to be made more accessible in poorer nations. The couple hammered home the point that ‘where you’re born should not dictate your ability to survive.’
Meghan revealed that ‘every single person on this planet has a fundamental right to get this vaccine, but that's not happening.’
It is wrong that so much of the vaccine supply has only gone to just ten wealthy nations and not everyone else; it’s just not OK.
The Duchess of Sussex added: ’These experts shared that how the vaccine is distributed, and who it’s distributed to, should be left to independent international organisations who know exactly where the doses are most needed.’
Just think about the millions of vaccines that have been discarded this year. That’s like throwing away life vests when those around you are drowning.
New York tour marks the Sussexes first major outing since royal family exit
The 24-hour concert was just one stop for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who, on their royal-style tour, also met with the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and stopped by a school in Harlem.
The whistle-stop tour of New York also marks the couple’s first public outing since the birth of the second child, Lilibet, in June and is also the first major tour since their dramatic exit from the royal family.
During their concert appearance, Prince Harry continued to explain that in many cases ‘these vaccines were publicly funded. They are your vaccines. You paid for them.’
We’re battling more than the virus alone; this is a battle of misinformation, bureaucracy, lack of transparency and lack of access, and, above all, this is a human rights crisis.
Harry added that ‘many countries are ready to produce vaccines, but ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies are not sharing the recipes to make them.’
These countries have the means, the ability and the workers to start manufacturing. All they are waiting for is the vaccine intellectual property to be waived and the vaccine technology to be transferred over.
What is Citizen Live?
Citizen Live was a 24-hour concert held across six contents that hoped to raise awareness for significant action against global issues.
Over 60 major artists such as Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, Coldplay, Elton John and BTS all joined the line-up in what has been labelled one of the largest ever charity events.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the show, held in locations such as Paris, Central Park and Seoul, with millions more joining the online broadcast.
However, despite being a charity event, Citizen Live - which was organised by Global Citizen - wasn’t asking for donations. Instead, the concert was held to act as evidence for global leaders that people all over the world support major action against poverty and global warming. Global Citizen released a statement saying:
Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and defeat poverty.
The event organisers called for governments worldwide to work together to plant one billion trees, donate one billion vaccines and provide meals for 41,000 people suffering from poverty.
So far, as a result of the event, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced that the US would donate over $295m (£215m) ‘to stave off famine and extreme hunger, confront gender-based violence and address the urgent humanitarian needs the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving in its wake.’
French President Emmanuel Macron also pledged to increase the number of vaccines the nation is currently donating to poorer countries to 120 million.