- Comes as the UN Secretary-General António Guterres starts a ‘virtual visit’ to UK to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
- Broad Sanctuary Green in Westminster is officially re-named ‘United Nations Green’ to commemorate the first UN General Assembly meeting at Westminster Central Hall in 1946.
THE United Kingdom (UK) has UK has helped to raise $1 billion for the coronavirus COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) through match-funding other donors, which combined with the £548 million of UK aid pledged will help distribute one billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to 92 developing countries this year.
The investment will help stop the spread of the disease and prevent future waves, helping to build back better from coronavirus globally. The UK is using our aid budget, scientific expertise and diplomatic leverage to strengthen global health.
Today’s announcement coincides with a three-day virtual visit to London by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, as part of the UK’s commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary.
Over the last 75 years, the UK has played a leading role in supporting the UN and we are working together to strengthen international collaboration to tackle today’s biggest global challenges, from coronavirus to climate change.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
It is fitting that, on the 75th anniversary of the UN, the UK has led with our allies to make one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine available to vulnerable countries.
We’ll only be safe from this virus, when we’re all safe – which is why we’re focused on a global solution to a global problem.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said:
In the midst of a second world war that was far from won, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt – later joined by leaders of China, France, the-then Soviet Union and other allied powers – courageously set out a vision to free the world of fear and want, through cooperation. This vision became the United Nations and, on this very day 75 years ago, the first meeting of the UN General Assembly was held in London.
At this time of new global turmoil, I am honoured to virtually visit the United Kingdom to mark that occasion, renew our cause of overcoming global challenges together, and celebrate a country that was instrumental in creating the United Nations and which remains, today, a crucial member state, not least in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow.
Today (Sunday 10 January), 75 years after the first meeting of the UN General Assembly in London, the UK will host a virtual commemorative event which will bring together the UN Secretary-General, Lord Ahmad, and civil society to celebrate the huge achievements of this unprecedented global institution and discuss how to build our collaboration topics including gender and health.
The commemorative event will mark the UK’s role in the founding of the UN, which has negotiated 172 peace settlements that have ended conflicts and over 300 international treaties from human rights conventions to agreements on the use of outer space, the arms trade and the oceans. The UN is currently running 12 peacekeeping missions to address conflict throughout the world.
As a permanent tribute to 75 years of the UN’s work, the lawn next to Westminster Central Hall, formally known as Broad Sanctuary Green where the first meeting was held, will be re-named ‘United Nations Green’.
On Monday 11 January, the UN Secretary-General will virtually meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office Ministers Lord Ahmad, James Cleverly, Lord Goldsmith and Wendy Morton, and the COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma. The Secretary-General will also hold discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
On the same day, the Secretary-General will attend a COP26 roundtable about clean power, alongside the UK Foreign Secretary, COP26 President Designate, and Ministers from across the world. Since 2011, UK aid has provided over 26 million people with improved access to clean energy and is looking ahead with even higher ambition, having committed to invest £11.6 billion of International Climate Finance from April 2021.