Item 1052 - Opening address at the 2nd annual meeting of the Vaccine Fund Board of Directors

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-S-1052


Opening address at the 2nd annual meeting of the Vaccine Fund Board of Directors


  • 2003-09-09 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Second Annual Meeting of the Vaccine Fund Board of Directors

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the second annual meeting of The Vaccine Fund Board of Directors here in Johannesburg. Speaking very objectively, I must say, you have made a wise choice to come to South Africa and to this region!

The opportunity to serve as chairman of this esteemed Board, bringing together leaders of great talent and compassion in our honourable mission, is a tribute for which I am highly grateful. For I believe, like you, that there is no greater resource in the world than our children; and I share with you the commitment to ensure that every child, everywhere, has access to life-saving vaccines.

As you will know best, the Vaccine Fund was designed to mobilise resources to restore and maintain child immunization rates at highest levels; to work with our GAVI partners to ensure a secure supply of vaccines; to advocate for child immunisation; and to manage our resources to ensure results.

I am pleased to announce that with your help, our steadfast partners in the GAVI alliance have made significant progress on all of those fronts.

Well over 30 million children have benefited from over $250 million in new vaccines and infrastructure funding made available to over 60 countries; and millions of children have been added to those now protected against various dangerous diseases. As many as 300,000 deaths will be prevented due to the good work you have done thus far.

Our primary mission is life critical. Our goal is very clear: to address the gross inequities in child health still existing in the world today. Life or death for a young child too often depends on whether he or she is born in a country where vaccines are available or not. As The Vaccine Fund, our job is to raise new resources so that the GAVI partners can protect the lives of more children.

Funding is paramount. However, we also must use our individual and corporate voices - everyone in this room - to advocate on behalf of children and to demand on their behalf a fundamental equity which guarantees they will not lack the most basic and effective disease prevention tool available, a vaccine. In some cases, they cost but pennies a dose, in others more. However, whether the costs are low or high, the issue is one of fundamental fairness.

Let us raise our voices and the consciousness of the world around this urgent issue. Urgent because as we gather here in this beautiful hotel, out there not too far away there are literally thousands of children who become sick and die each day from preventable disease. As much as we have accomplished over the past three years, much more needs to be done. To borrow a word from the American poet, Allen Ginsberg, we must raise and maintain a collective HOWL regarding such inequity, such unfairness that would deny health and life itself to the most innocent and vulnerable among us.

We are gathered around this table today with one goal: reaching every child, everywhere, with life-saving vaccines. This, of course, will require new funding. I am confident that our discussion today will point us in the right direction to raise these funds and provide us all with renewed vigour to play our distinct roles in this honourable endeavour.

The children out there are counting on your help. For your unwavering commitment, I thank you. I look forward to working closely with you to achieve this goal.

I thank you very much, and now declare this meeting open.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 24/02/09 by Razia Saleh




Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places