December 1, 2020
Watch the full program here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On World AIDS Day, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) honored Dr. Anthony Fauci, the World Food Program’s David Beasley, and UNICEF’s Henrietta Fore – for their unwavering commitment to American leadership on the global stage and for their work to build a better, safer world.
Marking its 25th year as a coalition – in the midst of a global pandemic – the USGLC brought together thousands of Americans from across the country for the star-studded virtual World AIDS Day celebration. Gathering before the “Main Stage” event, the USGLC also convened nearly 1,000 policymakers – including more than 30 members of Congress – and influential leaders from the business, NGO, military, and faith communities, and members of current and past administrations, across eight virtual Zoom policy receptions on critical topics from global hunger to health security to investing in Africa.
Kicking off the night’s celebration were the USGLC’s 2020 Tribute Celebration Co-Chairs Elizabeth Cousens, President & Chief Executive Officer, U.N. Foundation; Dr. Julie Gerberding, Chief Patient Officer & Executive Vice President, Merck; and Sally Susman, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pfizer.
In another first, the USGLC welcomed seven of America’s Secretaries of State and Defense to the virtual stage, including Secretaries Colin Powell (USGLC Advisory Council Chairman), Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, James Mattis, Condoleezza Rice, and George Shultz. Watch the Secretaries’ reflections on America’s role in the world here.
The USGLC honored Dr. Anthony Fauci with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his more than three decades of service to America and the world and for his leadership in designing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – a program that has saved over 18 million lives worldwide.
When asked about his proudest career moments in an interview with Barbara Bush, Dr. Anthony Fauci highlighted PEPFAR, saying, “The impact is extraordinary, and it’s the gift that keeps giving because not only was the immediate impact of getting so many people on therapy… it created a system, so it had cascading effects.”
He continued, “Whenever I talk years later with subsequent administrations and subsequent Congresses of what could and can be done and has been done with an extraordinary idea that has a mission, a goal, and a lot of energy into it – [PEPFAR] really set a standard that I think the world is going to follow for decades to come.”
Paying tribute to their remarkable leadership on the global stage in recent years, the USGLC honored David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), and Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF. Under their leadership, the WFP and UNICEF have led the way to save lives, protect children, combat global hunger and promote peace. The WFP also recently was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
In an interview during the program, David Beasley explained, “We’re at a major crossroads in world history right now. By 2021, we could be facing an extraordinary number of deaths. Already this year, you’ve had about 1.3 million people die from COVID, we’ve already had about 8 million die from starvation. And next year, that could be double, triple, quadruple, if we don’t handle this thing right.”
He continued, “This year, [WFP’s] funding was a little over $8 billion… and next year, our needs are going to be $15 billion. And here’s what happens if we don’t have the money: you’re going to have famine, starvation, you’ll have destabilization, you’ll have mass migration – the world’s in trouble. Let’s show the world we care for the poor, the needy, those that are vulnerable, those that are suffering.”
Reflecting on UNICEF’s impact during the program, Henrietta Fore said, “We are indelibly shaped by those around us. And as a result, we have a real chance with children and young people, to spend some time with them, to invest in the future, and to make the world a better place. And so it’s really been fun to be at UNICEF because you realize that you can help change the world and shape it in the decades to come if we can get it right.”
As part of the special virtual celebration, the USGLC also saluted 25 years of bipartisan Congressional support and the thousands of lawmakers who have helped to build a better, safer world. Watch the video here marking the legacy of bipartisan leadership on U.S. development and diplomacy.
“In the middle of the global pandemic, World AIDS Day is an important moment to reflect on the difference America can make in the world when we come together in a bipartisan way. I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than joining virtually as a community to support the development and diplomacy tools that continue to elevate U.S. global leadership, and I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of engagement we’ve seen across the country,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO.
“This year’s honorees exemplify how America’s impact around the world – from battling infectious disease and food insecurity to providing humanitarian assistance – not only showcases the best of our nation’s values but protects our health, economic, and national security interests at home.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.