Taking action at the 69th UNGA

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Global health events throughout General Assembly week featured Gavi leadership and highlighted the impact of immunisation

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Source: Gavi/2011/Ben Fisher.

New York, 2 October 2014 - Global health, including child immunisation, was among the key areas of focus during events at the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations, with senior leadership of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance speaking at events throughout the week.

Liberia hosts Gavi side event

The Mission of Liberia hosted a discussion on child vaccination at the United Nations on Thursday. The event, “Reach every child: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; inspiring innovation,” focused on the importance of immunisation and health system strengthening in the global effort to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

The Vaccine Alliance at the UNGA: key moments


UN High Level Meeting on Polio, featuring Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) - Meeting on Financing for Sustainable Development, with Gavi CEO Seth Berkley

Rockefeller Foundation - Delivering on Universal Health Coverage: Why the Time is Now, featuring Gavi CEO Seth Berkley


Inter-faith Collaboration on Global Health Development Efforts, featuring Gavi Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten at a session of the Global Health Development Conference


World Forum of First Ladies and Women Leaders, featuring Gavi Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta

Global Health & Diplomacy - Creating a Post-2015 Infrastructure for Development: Challenges, Successes and Suggestions for the Future, with Gavi CEO Seth Berkley

Due to the Ebola crisis in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Gavi champion, was unable to attend the event in person. Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, also a Gavi champion, welcomed guests on her behalf, noting President Johnson Sirleaf’s strength and leadership during this time of suffering.

Canadian Prime Minister cites Gavi

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his address to the UN General Assembly underscored Gavi’s success in saving children’s lives – an important part of his government’s priority of reducing preventable deaths in developing countries.

In reference to Canada’s May summit on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), Harper pointed to “the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, and how during the three year period between 2010 and 2013, immunisations saved the lives of two million children.”

At the summit – building on the 2010 Muskoka Initiative – Canada pledged to invest C$3.5 billion (about US$ 3.2 billion) between 2015-2020 in three MNCH priority areas: strengthening health systems, improving nutrition and reducing the burden of leading diseases, which Harper said includes stepping up child immunisation. Overall, Canada to date has invested about US$ 472.4 million in Gavi.

Global Citizen Festival

Child immunsation was further spotlighted during the third annual Global Citizen Festival on Saturday afternoon in New York’s Central Park. This year’s festival, organised by the Global Poverty Project, focused on ensuring that all the world’s children and young people can survive and thrive.

Throughout the summer, “global citizens” took actions to win tickets to the festival, including signing an online petition calling on world leaders to support a full US $7.5 billion replenishment of Gavi.

The festival featured music performances by Jay-Z, No Doubt and Carrie Underwood, along with a focus on the need for action around child immunisation, sanitation and clean water, and education.

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