Quotes: Global Citizen Launches a 'Recovery Plan for the World' - a Campaign to End COVID-19 for All and Kickstart a Global Recovery

Feb 23, 2021 11:15 AM ET

NEW YORK, Genève, Switzerland | Brussels, Belgium – February 23, 2021 /3BL Media/ – International advocacy organization Global Citizen today launched a Recovery Plan for the World - a campaign to end COVID-19 for all and kickstart a global recovery. The Recovery Plan for the World is a year-long campaign and series of events that aims to: 1) end COVID-19 for all; 2) end the hunger crisis; 3) resume learning everywhere; 4) protect the planet; and 5) advance equity for all.

In 2020, Global Citizen rallied to help deliver critical financial commitments to fight COVID-19 and led advocacy efforts, which resulted in nearly USD $1.1 billion being disbursed to support the pandemic response. Global Citizen’s efforts centered on the equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines for everyone everywhere, and the organization’s advocacy also addressed the effect of the pandemic more broadly. 

Acting as a continuation of the impact achieved through Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home and Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaigns, Global Citizen’s efforts in 2021 will focus on the final push to end the pandemic and get the world back on the path to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Below, find quotes of support for the Global Citizen: Recovery Plan for the World campaign.


Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission: “Global Citizen has been a leading force in bringing together civil society and the private sector. We need citizens of the world to mobilise again. We need out of the box thinking, and using all means available. This is why I’m proud to support, as President of the European Commission, the new Global Citizen campaign, called ‘Recovery Plan for the World.”

H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa: “South Africa is proud to be one of the supporting countries for the five-point Recovery Plan by Global Citizen under the patronage of the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and in partnership with Italy, the G20 Chair. The urgency to get a vaccine to everyone, everywhere cannot be underestimated. As a country we will be joining efforts to help the world recover better by ending the pandemic as a priority, addressing food security and hunger, getting all our children back to school, addressing climate change and protecting the most marginalised. We must ensure that no one is left behind.” 

Emmanuel Macron, President of France:  "The emergence of new variants, which degrade the efficacy of some vaccines, only confirms the initial intuition behind the ACT-A initiative: this pandemic is being fought on a global scale, to the extent that our own health security depends on the rapid access of poor countries to protective devices, tests and vaccines. These are all bulwarks against the virus. International solidarity and health security go hand in hand, which is why I have proposed the establishment of a mechanism for sharing doses with our African partners."

Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium: “As a country of vaccines producers, Belgium knows first-hand how important they are. That is why we are stepping up our support to make the COVID-19 vaccines available worldwide. We need to assure everybody is safe if we want to Recover Better Together – an aim I share with this campaign from Global Citizen.”

Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia: "We live in times when solidarity and international cooperation are needed more than ever. The ongoing pandemic has irreversibly changed our lives. It has touched everyone, but the impact on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable is especially dire. Multi-stakeholder action is vital, not only to ensure access to vaccines for all, but also to recover better together, while promoting equity and sustainable development. This is why I offer my and Croatia's strong support to the Global Citizen campaign and its Five-Point Recovery Plan, launched in partnership with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the World Health Organization. We look forward to continuing to work together at European and global levels."

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: “The COVID-19 pandemic once again reminds us: Global crises require global solutions. We must act together to end the pandemic. And we must not forget those who are affected by extreme poverty and hunger. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are and will remain our compass for a better world. This is why, in 2021, Germany will continue to actively work towards the achievement of the Global Goals.”

António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal: “Promoting global health is one of the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. All have to be equal in a universal, fair and quality access to health. Universal and affordable access to vaccines is essential if we are to resume our lives in full. The Portuguese Presidency will support all efforts towards that goal, in initiatives such as the COVAX and the ACT Accelerator. Vaccination against the virus must go hand in hand with another vaccine, depending only on us: the vaccine of action! We cannot simply wait for the crisis to pass. There is no time to lose. It's Time to Act!”

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway: “No one is safe until everyone is safe. The recent mutations prove this beyond doubt. This is not only about health; it is also about the economy. The investments needed in vaccines are considerable, yet they are minimal compared to the costs of economic downturn.”

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji: “The only way we can recover from COVID-19 is together. I support the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ campaign because here in Fiji, we know that we are all in the same boat.”

Jacinda  Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand: “COVID-19 highlights how truly interdependent we all are. How reliant we are on cooperation, communication and compassion to successfully combat the virus. It highlights how important it is that we work together for a sustainable recovery that delivers for our economies and our planet. New Zealand is working closely with Gavi, the WHO and the COVAX Facility to make sure developing countries, including our Pacific Island neighbours, have timely access to the vaccine as and when they need it to protect their communities.’’

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore: “Global solidarity is essential to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Our collective efforts to keep supply chains open, and ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines, are the first steps towards a more sustainable recovery for all.”

Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland: “The UN Sustainable Development goals are our roadmap. Today, I can assure you that Ireland is playing its part - on the UN Security Council, as part of Team Europe, and as a solid and reliable bilateral partner - in global efforts to recover better together.”

Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain: “We are at the beginning of a year with plenty of challenges: along with the pandemic, we cannot forget to protect the planet, fight hunger, foster education worldwide or promote equality. These will also lead the activities of Global Citizen in 2021. This is why Spain wants to support Global Citizen in our common efforts to make this world better every day. I invite you all to raise your voice and take action together to support change.”

Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: "Saint Vincent and the Grenadines endorses the 2021 Global Citizen's ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ campaign. We must work together in solidarity for equitable vaccine access, to build immunity everywhere, and to enhance resilience and climate compliance."

Robert Abela, Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta: “During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Malta has striven to ensure that all people requiring medical attention receive the necessary healthcare services. In this light, Malta is currently implementing a free national vaccination plan which has provided us with an effective solution to start our return to normality. Nevertheless, the world cannot return to normal if the pandemic is not controlled everywhere. Malta thus reiterates the call to foster a climate of cooperation and trust between states, to collectively take action to implement the five goals of the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ effort.” 


Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations: “We are encouraged by the roll out of safe and effective vaccines, but the truth is simple, no person is safe until all people are safe, and no country is safe until all countries are safe. Only by working together can we ensure that no one is left behind. Only by working together can we recover better and build a world where everyone thrives in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet. It is possible, together.”

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization: "COVID-19 has threatened the lives and livelihoods of everyone on the planet. To respond, we must take several urgent actions. The only way that we'll be able to recover better, together, is by defeating the virus everywhere through universal access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. At the same time, we must mobilize response and recovery aid to address the pandemic's significant socio-economic consequences, such as disruptions to food and education systems. I commend Global Citizen for raising awareness on these issues and playing an important role in promoting global solidarity to counter the pandemic.”

Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens: “2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments. Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.”

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: “The world has two clear priorities: End the pandemic as soon as possible for everyone, everywhere. And rebuild by addressing the inequalities that have been magnified in the past year. Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ is the beginning of a blueprint for covering both. We can save lives by delivering on the promise of vaccine equity now, and extend opportunity to marginalized people – including almost four billion women and girls – by making smart long-term investments.”  

Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation: “Never before in the history of humanity have so many crises put the planet and its people at such peril. Our ability to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient – while overcoming the series of compounding crises it has spurred and accelerated – hinges on our ability to ensure an equitable, inclusive and sustainable recovery for everyone, everywhere. Only by coming together in solidarity and acting with urgent unity can we recover better.”

Maurice A. Jones, President & CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): “Right now, we have a remarkable opportunity to bridge long-standing gaps in health, wealth and opportunity for millions of people, while we also support a broad-based recovery from COVID-19,” said Maurice A. Jones, president and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). “We’re grateful to Global Citizen for assembling a lineup of partners working to build a broadly shared prosperity that offers opportunities for all.”

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation: “The Rockefeller Foundation recently made the largest commitment in its history in order to go all-in and focus its resources and energy on helping communities recover while addressing inequities made worse by Covid-19 pandemic. Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ campaign aligns well with our work and we are excited to see what the collaboration of all these partners can accomplish.”

John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce: “The International Chamber of Commerce is the world business organization whose mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. We are thrilled to partner with Global Citizen to make progress on a true recovery from COVID-19, including by achieving a fully funded ACT Accelerator and mobilizing much-needed financing and support from business leaders. It is clear that the private sector has been – and will continue to be – indispensable in containing the pandemic, restoring the global economy and getting the world back on track to recover better together.”

Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a brutal reminder that no one - no individual, no organization, no country - can afford to go it alone. To create a better world, we all have a part to play. At Gavi, we are working with everyone to build and deliver COVAX, the international vaccine response to the pandemic. We are pleased to join Global Citizen’s call for global solidarity, and we look forward to working together to ensure affordable and timely vaccine access, so that we can end COVID-19 for all and recover stronger than ever.”

Vivek Maru, CEO of Namati: “The pandemic is a justice crisis. We are experiencing a massive increase in threats to basic rights, from informal workers at risk of starvation to discriminated minorities denied healthcare and vaccines. Members of the Legal Empowerment Network – now over 2,400 justice organizations from nearly every country – are rising to meet the challenges of this moment, with little resources and at great risk to themselves. We need to stand with them. We need to ensure flexible, consistent, and long-term investment in the essential work of grassroots legal empowerment.”

Mike Lake, Member of Parliament of Canada: "We cannot allow COVID-19 or any barrier to hold back children around the world from accessing a quality and inclusive education. Through education for all, including for girls, children with disabilities, those currently without access to the internet, and beyond, we can create a more equitable, safe, and peaceful world. I urge government and business leaders to increase action for global education, and to support the critical goals of the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ initiative."

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund: "From the rise in gender-based violence to the lack of access to life-saving services, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequalities that women and girls face in times of crisis. As we build forward better and fairer, we must prioritize sexual and reproductive health and rights, UNFPA is joining forces with Global Citizen to mobilize the transformative change needed to build equitable, gender-responsive health systems through the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ five-point policy plan.”

Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund: “The Global Fund fully supports Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ campaign because a coordinated effort is the only way we are going to beat COVID-19. We cannot afford not to step up investment - we must hit the pandemic hard and fast with enough funding and a commitment to reach everyone, everywhere, because with COVID-19, no one is safe until everyone is safe. We must unite to fight this pandemic.”

Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director at Green Climate Fund: “The Green Climate Fund strongly supports Global Citizens’ efforts to facilitate debt relief and develop innovative financing instruments to enable developing countries to build back better without unbearably increasing their debt burden. The Green Climate Fund will redouble our efforts to overcome the twin tests of COVID-19 and climate change as we forge a path of ambition to COP26 in Glasgow. Let’s protect the planet, and recover better together.”

Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait: “Over 1.5 billion children and youth have had their education interrupted by COVID-19, and millions of these girls and boys - already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and protracted crises - are among the least likely to return, losing the lifeline that schooling provides - unless we act together, now. Education Cannot Wait stands with Global Citizen to call on world leaders across all sectors to prioritize education for children and youth in crises as part of the response to this pandemic and ongoing relief, so those in the most vulnerable settings can build back better. Only through quality and inclusive education that embraces innovation and technology - and its cross-cutting benefits such as water, sanitation, school meals, climate action, mental health support, protection and empowering girls and those with disabilities - will we truly overcome the worst effects of the multiple crises these children are facing. Together, we must bridge the digital divide and prepare the next generation for a better future. Please join us.”

Kundhavi Kadiresan, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Impact, CGIAR System Organization: “Today a powerful and unified global effort is needed to equip food systems to advance human and planetary health to their full potential. CGIAR is therefore delighted to be part of the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ campaign, which connects actors across the relief, development and policy spheres in a coordinated effort informed by science and evidence.”

Eddie Ndopu, Award-Winning Humanitarian, United Nations SDG Advocate, and Founder of the Global Access Fund: "The cruel and heartbreaking truth of the current historical moment is this: the communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic are the same groups of people who are at the coal face of systematic social inequities and the ecological and environmental breakdown of the planet. The most neglected and the most marginalized among us must be attended to first if humanity is to save itself from itself. For this reason, the more than one billion people with disabilities living on the planet today can no longer afford to keep waiting our turn.”

Esther Ngemba, Former Refugee, Education and Mental Health Advocate: “I have experienced at first hand what it means to be at risk of missing out on an education due to conflict and crisis, and what it means to want nothing more than to go to school and access the opportunities it creates. My education and knowledge give me a great key to a better future. We shouldn’t allow COVID-19 or any other crisis to prevent a whole generation of vulnerable children miss out on their right to an education. Global Citizen's plan presents a unique opportunity to support children and people living in poverty far and wide in recovering better, together. I call on world leaders and businesses to join us to create a world where education and critical services like health care and nutritious food are made available to everyone, everywhere.”

Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International: “COVID-19 has left no person unaffected. But as in any crisis, those most vulnerable are more severely impacted. LGBTIQ people have faced disproportionate levels of domestic violence, devastation of livelihoods, hunger and homelessness, and scapegoating for the pandemic, while many LGBTIQ support organizations are struggling to survive. Moreover, too often we are excluded from humanitarian response efforts which use a binary view of gender, reject support to families outside of a narrow norm, or unsafe locations for distribution. Efforts to build back can not be limited by LGBTIQ-phobic views or ignorance. As long as LGBTIQ people and other marginalized communities are forgotten or excluded, the crisis can not be overcome. We must respond and recover together and make sure that no one is left behind."

Paul Newnham, Director SDG2 Advocacy Hub, Coordinator Chefs Manifesto, Food System Champion: “2021 one is a critical year for joined up action. To get the Global Goals back on track, we need to demand leaps forward in the way we respond to challenges. Our solutions need to affect systemic change for both people and the planet, driving forward a vision of Good Food For All. The UN Food Systems Summit is a critical opportunity to break down silos and drive action across the SDGs.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC): "The proposed ‘Recovery Plan for the World’, particularly the first objective of ending the pandemic, is very well aligned with the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak adopted by the African Ministers of Health at the onset of the pandemic in February 2020. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has launched several initiatives to operationalise this strategy, which include the "Africa Against COVID-19: Saving Lives, Economies and Livelihoods" campaign, and the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing in Africa (PACT)."

Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund: “Wallace Global Fund applauds Global Citizen for acknowledging that equity and access are the central questions driving the compounding and intersecting crises we face today. This campaign will play a critical role in making sure that all communities have access to healthcare and education while equipping them to combat economic inequality, address climate change, and tap into affordable and renewable energy systems that aid recovery and innovation. Its intersectional approach will empower communities to overcome the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19 and thrive well beyond it.”

Gilbert F. Houngbo, President, International Foundation for Agricultural Development: “Citizens around the world are calling for change to build a post-pandemic future founded on equity and sustainability, and that includes in our food systems. One of the five pillars of Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’ is to end hunger, which is also SDG2. We stand together in support of rural people and communities, which is our mission at the International Fund for Agricultural Development. We need to invest more in sustainable agriculture, climate adaptation and a food system that is fair to small-scale producers, and delivers healthy food and decent livelihoods for all. There’s only one way to achieve a healthier, safer planet with zero poverty and hunger—together.”

Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company: “Globally 1-in-4 people are farmers. But farmers in emerging markets are more vulnerable to high temperatures, fluctuations in rainfall and variable yields because most of our agriculture is rain-fed and crop insurance is not wide spread. This volatility in turn affects food prices. Women face more climate risk than men - they have fewer resources to adapt, and tend to be excluded from decision making on climate-smart agriculture, for example water management, drought-tolerant hybrid seed varieties. Policy makers, business and citizens alike need to reckon with the impact of climate on our food systems and adapt.”

Caroline Casey, Founder of the Valuable 500: “Disability inclusion within business needs a fundamental culture shift, which needs to be led by the leader. Leaders make choices and those choices create culture. The only way we are going to resolve the current “inclusion delusion” is through the support, attention and intention of CEOs to no longer overlook and side step the innovation, insight, value, creativity, resource and potential of over 20% of our global population that with parents affects 72% of our global economy. Inclusion means everyone for all, no matter how difficult that is to achieve, it is essential for our planet and people and once and for all we have the opportunity to ensure that disability is normalised, valued, supported and embedded into the new world we are trying to create and the disability perspective is an integral part of this new architecture.”



Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards with tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at $48.4 billion, affecting the lives of more than 880 million people. During last year's Global Citizen hosted campaigns, One World: Together at Home and Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, we mobilized over $1.5 billion in cash grants, with over $1.1 billion being already disbursed. For more information, visit globalcitizen.org.


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