International Global Citizen's Award

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Thoughts on the pandemic: None of us will be safe until everyone is safe.

Thoughts on the pandemic: None of us will be safe until everyone is safe.


As the Covid pandemic continues, different countries find themselves in very different positions. In some countries everyday life is quite normal, although in some cases low infection rates are ensured by very restricted international travel to or from the country. The UK experienced a second wave of infections earlier this year and deaths are among the highest per million of any country. But the vaccination programme is very successful, cases are falling and people are becoming more optimistic, even planning foreign holiday travel. Meanwhile India, which had low infection rates last year, is now badly smitten and we receive heart-rending pictures and stories of the situation there. In South America, Argentina and Uruguay have high infection rates. Uruguay currently has the highest rate of infection, in terms of cases per million, of any country (although comparisons are difficult because ways and accuracy of counting differ between countries), but is little covered in European news media because of its relatively small overall population and number of cases.


While we may be focused on the situation in our own country, as the Director of the WHO Dr Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Commissioner of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen have reminded us: “A global pandemic requires no less than a world effort to end it. None of us will be safe until everyone is safe. Global access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments for everyone who needs them, anywhere, is the only way out.” (


The need for our leaders to take an international and global approach to global issues such as the pandemic is clear. It is unfortunate that many IGCA participants understand this better than many world leaders.

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