A statement from UHC2030’s Co-Chairs on the occasion of the World...
In September 2019, world leaders endorsed the most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration on health in history at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). However, UHC progress is not on track, and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be taking the world further away from the 2023 targets set by the political declaration. While many countries have made a wide range of commitments to UHC, set national targets and prioritized equity in their UHC commitments, gaps persist between policy, implementation and results.
The United Nations General Assembly will hold a one-day High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on UHC in New York in September 2023. Reflecting on the impact of its advocacy efforts in 2019, UHC2030 is gearing up again to convene a powerful movement of diverse voices around a set of Key Asks from the UHC Movement to feed into the 2023 Political Declaration (UHC Key Asks 2.0).
The UHC2030 UN HLM Task Force is leading the charge. A group of twenty representatives from UHC constituencies and beyond will draft the next set of UHC Key Asks 2.0 based on the latest data, the new global health context, and inputs received through inclusive consultations. The Task Force will aim to craft a limited number of action-oriented policy recommendations for the President of the General Assembly ahead of the 2023 HLM Political Declaration negotiation. It will also be instrumental in providing political advocacy and strategic communications support to UHC2030 throughout the year.
The Task Force held its first meeting on Tuesday, 13 September in the presence of the UHC2030 co-chairs, Ms. Gabriela Cuevas and Dr. Justin Koonin, along with three Representatives from the UHC Movement Political Advisory Panel: Ms. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); Prof. Keizo Takemi, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for UHC; and Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, WHO Special Envoy for the European Region.
“COVID-19 and other critical challenges are prompting a shift in the thinking around UHC. Local and regional governments must seize this opportunity to introduce new forms of governance and transform heath systems to offer equitable access for all.” -Ms. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, UCLG
“The economic setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate once again the importance of a widened fiscal space and multilateral cooperation to finance universal health coverage. This topic must feature prominently at the G7 meetings in Japan in 2023.” -Prof. Keizo Takemi, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for UHC
“To reach UHC, health systems need to be redefined as part of multiple social systems, with a focus on resilience and primary health care. The international community must address the various challenges faced by the health workforce everywhere.” -Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, WHO Special Envoy for the European Region
Discussing the threats weighing on the health sector everywhere, members reflected on the need to invest in resilient and equitable health systems and primary health care as necessary foundations to reaching UHC and health security. Much work will need to be done to overcome the setbacks still being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, looming economic collapse and climate change-related disasters.
The Task Force will work until September 2023 to call forth meaningful commitments and actions from the General Assembly to get UHC progress back on track.