CEPI’s Commitment to Tackling Racism

A destructive legacy of racism has led to deeply entrenched implicit biases and institutional racism, which have hurt countless people for generations. These inequalities are widespread and, as we have seen in the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to stark inequities in access to healthcare and poorer health outcomes for affected communities globally.

Tackling this inequality is core to CEPI’s mission to ensure fair access to all the vaccines we develop. Through our strategic partnerships in countries around the world we also seek to build vaccine Research, Development and Manufacturing capacity, strengthen domestic expertise, and nurture scientific talent. In response to COVID-19, we launched COVAX, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi and UNICEF, to enable equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, at all levels of development.

We are also committed to affecting positive change in the workplace and the principles of equality, inclusion, and non-discrimination guide all our internal and external policies. CEPI is a young organisation, launched in 2017, and our aim from the outset has been to build a diverse and inclusive organisation that reflects the populations we serve. We are proud to say that one in five of the CEPI team now come from low-income or middle-income countries and over half are women.

We also recognise that our executive leadership team does not reflect this diversity and our aim is to ensure we develop and implement a comprehensive plan to ensure that this goal of diversity at all levels is achieved over time. CEPI is a global coalition comprising members and representatives from all continents. We value the substantial geographical and cultural diversity of our partners and we welcome dialogue with them about the issue of racism and how we, as a coalition, can combat its negative effects.

We are determined to play our role in helping to overcome the challenges presented by institutional bias and discrimination. We accept that this won’t be easy and that we are not perfect, but we will persevere. CEPI believes positive and long-lasting change can only be achieved by learning from each other’s experiences and through collective action. A coalition by design, we will always stand together with our staff, our partners, and the communities that we serve around the world to push back against racism in all its forms.