HCHF Secretary-General, European Commission VP discuss Covid-19 vaccine equity

HCHF Secretary-General, European Commission VP discuss Covid-19 vaccine equity

ABU DHABI, 26th October, 2021 (WAM) -- European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF) Secretary-General Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam discussed collaboration, particularly advancing COVID-19 vaccine equity and empowering youth, during a meeting at Louvre Abu Dhabi, recently.

Before meeting at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Vice-President Schinas and Judge Abdelsalam toured the construction site of the Abrahamic Family House - a first-of-its-kind interfaith complex hosting a church, mosque, synagogue, and educational center, which is being overseen by the HCHF and is set to be completed in 2022.

"There is no better way to symbolise people coming together again after the coronavirus pandemic than the Abrahamic Family House," said Vice-President Schinas, who serves as the Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life at the European Commission.

Vice-President Schinas expressed his full support for the initiative, calling it a "tangible manifestation of coexistence and tolerance, which are objectives shared by the European Commission and HCHF," and noted that he is "pleased with the fast pace of the project implementation and its progress on-the-ground." He commended the strides taken by the UAE to promote human coexistence.

Judge Abdelsalam stressed the HCHF’s support for the humanitarian efforts of the European Commission, especially its furthering of COVID-19 vaccine equity through the export of more than one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to disadvantaged countries.

"Fewer than four percent of the population on the continent of Africa is currently vaccinated according to recent estimates - this is a real challenge to human fraternity," said Judge Abdelsalam. "The international community must work together to find a solution to this issue." He praised the extraordinary efforts the UAE exerts to advance COVID-19 vaccine equity through distributing vaccines to poor and disadvantaged countries since the outbreak of the pandemic until now, noting "such efforts should be built upon."

Vice-President Schinas acknowledged the success of the European Union’s vaccine program and stressed that it will not be complete until "everyone benefits – regardless of geography or economic status."

"We will never be safe until everyone is safe," said Vice-President Schinas.

Judge Abdelsalam and Vice-President Schinas also discussed potential European Commission partnership in the HCHF’s Human Fraternity Youth Summit, which is scheduled to take place in 2022 and will bring together 100 young people from around the world for a transformative educational experience.

The European Commission’s recent announcement that 2022 will be the "European Year of Youth" seems fully compatible with the Human Fraternity Youth Summit, according to Schinas. "I hope the European Commission will support this important summit and believe we should cooperate to realise its objectives," Schinas added.

For his part, Judge Abdelsalam noted that youth empowerment summits have the potential to create life-long impact on participants.

"These summits and programs give young people hope, which they may be lacking amid the current crises in our world, and also gives them encouragement and opportunities for development," said Abdelsalam.