*The Duke and Duchess of Sussex is urging “world leaders to do what is necessary to end this crisis and unite behind a People’s Vaccine.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry joined “more than 130 world leaders, scientists, faith leaders, humanitarians” who signed an open letter titled The People’s Vaccine in which they call for an end to “vaccine monopolies,” PEOPLE reports.
“Two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – and faced with disturbingly unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines – we urge world leaders to do what is necessary to end this crisis and unite behind a People’s Vaccine,” the letter begins.
We are proud to welcome Archewell Foundation to the Alliance and appreciate their support, alongside Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We will work together to end vaccine inequity and ensure COVID-19 vaccines, treatments + tests are available to everyone. pic.twitter.com/J3wQbnnI9q
— The People’s Vaccine (@peoplesvaccine) March 11, 2022
The letter condemns the United Kingdom, the European Union and Switzerland for “block[ing] the lifting of intellectual property rules which would enable the redistribution and scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines, test and treatment manufacturing in the global south.”
“The current approach is immoral, entirely self-defeating and also an ethical, economic and epidemiological failure,” the letter states.
It goes on to say, “Now we are reuniting, in greater numbers, and with utmost urgency repeating our call for a People’s Vaccine. We appeal to world leaders to end this strategy of counter-productive nationalism and of protecting pharmaceutical monopolies and to finally act with international solidarity. Now is the time to renew the commitments made at the founding of the World HealthOrganization, where all states agreed to deliver ‘the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.’ “
Markle was joined by her mother Doria Ragland, along with Prince Harry, at the 53rd annual NAACP Image Awards last month. We previously reported that the royal couple was honored with the President’s Award at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards that aired Feb. 26 on BET.
“We’re thrilled to present this award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the U.S. and around the world,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement ahead of the ceremony, as reported by THR. “Not only do they continue to lead by example, The Duke and Duchess have also decided to inspire the next generation of activists through the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, ensuring the support and recognition of generations of civil rights leaders to come.”
The Duchess of Sussex showed love to her mother at the end of her acceptance speech, saying “My mom’s here with us tonight, and we all feel very proud.”
A royal family friend previously told PEOPLE that Meghan and her mother “are so close,” adding, “Harry really gets on well with her too.”
“Any new mom wants her own mom around at this time,” the friend continued, “so it’s great.”