8 juin 2023

A statement from UHC2030's co-chairs ahead of the INB meeting in June 2023 to discuss the INB Bureau’s text of the WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and and response (WHO CA+)

Effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery is not possible without universal health coveragePhoto credit: WHO/J. Osei

As the INB convenes for a resumed session of its fifth meeting from June 12 to 16 to discuss the INB Bureau’ text of the WHO pandemic accord, we express our strong concern that universal health coverage (UHC),  “an essential foundation for effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery“ (preambular section, para 28, February 2023 draft), is in the most recent draft text noted only as an end goal rather than an effective enabler of pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery

UHC can help mitigate against exacerbating existing inequities and access to services, and is of key importance to ensuring that health systems are strong and resilient, and therefore also better prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks with pandemic potential. 

The UHC2030 multi-stakeholder platform advocates for both UHC and health security as two intertwined goals to protect everyone, everywhere, that we achieve through the same health system with focus on primary health care - in crisis and calm.

As Co-chairs of UHC2030, we urge world leaders in their negotiations of the pandemic accord:

  • to emphasize that UHC and health security are two intertwined goals to protect everyone, everywhere, that we achieve through the same health system - in crisis and calm;
  • to reinstate language on universal health coverage (UHC) as “an essential foundation for effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery“ (preambular section, para 28, February 2023 draft);
  • to highlight that primary health care is the most effective and equitable approach to strengthening health systems, as it underpins health service delivery, essential public health functions and emergency risk management, while empowering civil society and communities, and promoting gender equality;
  • to build on the 2019 Political Declaration on UHC (A/RES/74/2, para 9/f), where world leaders committed to “recognize the need for health systems that are strong, resilient, functional, well-governed, responsive, accountable, integrated, community-based, people-centred and capable of quality service delivery, supported by a competent health workforce, adequate health infrastructure, enabling legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as sufficient and sustainable funding“;
  • to commit to meaningful representation, engagement and participation of civil society and communities, taking into account balanced gender representation; and
  • to ensure alignment also with the upcoming 2023 High-level meetings on UHC, TB and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response and the three resulting Political Declarations on health.

Effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery is not possible without universal health coverage.

-Gabriela Cuevas and Justin Koonin, Co-chairs of UHC2030 Steering Committee

In December 2021, an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) was established by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Following two rounds of public hearings (in April and September 2022) and four informal, focused consultations ( in September and October 2022), a zero draft of the accord (Zero draft of the WHO CA+ for the consideration of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body at its fourth meeting WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, “WHO CA+”) was discussed at INB4 and INB5 in February and April 2023. The INB delivered a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023 and will submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.

Find more information here on why it is important to integrate UHC in the pandemic accord.