29 November 2021

A message from UHC2030's Co-Chairs

Action on health systems, for universal health coverage and health security

The World Health Assembly meets this week for a Special Session. The World Health Organization’s Member States are considering the benefits of developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemics. It is anticipated they will agree on an intergovernmental negotiating body to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

These discussions come at a pivotal moment. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. It is crucial that countries agree the way forward for an international framework that helps ensure everyone, everywhere is better protected from pandemics in the future.

Throughout the pandemic the linkages between universal health coverage (UHC) and health security have been clear. It is crucial that the negotiating body for any new or revised instrument on pandemics recognizes the importance of ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access the health services they need without facing financial hardship.

It has also been clear that strengthening health systems, with a focus on primary health care, provides the foundations for both UHC and health security.

We are therefore pleased to share a new UHC2030 strategic narrative to guide advocacy and action on health systems for UHC and health security goals. UHC2030’s diverse membership will use this to promote political leadership for resilient and equitable health systems, mobilize better-aligned resources and demand and act for solidarity and equity. We will continue to include a special emphasis on meaningful social participation that empowers communities, and on gender-equitable leadership. We will make full use of the multisectoral nature of the UHC2030 partnership, to build consensus and spur coherent implementation across member states, civil society, multilateral organisations, the private sector, and philanthropic foundations.

This week we look to the world’s health leaders to agree crucial steps towards a safer and healthier future for us all. We call on them to appropriately recognize and include steps – especially actions for resilient and equitable health systems – towards good-quality and affordable health services for all.  

UHC2030 Co-Chairs Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Justin Koonin

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