4 July 2019

News from civil society action for UHC.

Update from the civil society engagement mechanism April-June 2019

#UHC4me Global Video Campaign
Is your country and/or language represented in the Global Video Campaign? Drawing in voices from Algeria to Zimbabwe, the campaign aims to spread the UHC message in as many world languages as possible in the buildup to the UN High-Level Meeting on universal health coverage (HLM UHC), and beyond. If you have not yet added a message in your language, join the campaign in three easy steps! Watch the videos and learn more about this growing campaign. 

Country Advocacy Meetings: Kazakhstan and Central African Republic 
In June 2019, the CSEM, in collaboration with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and UNAIDS, facilitated UN HLM on UHC country advocacy meetings in Kazakhstan and the Central African Republic. Civil society, the respective governments, UN agencies, private sector and other stakeholders participated in the two meetings. The country advocacy meetings are a platform for partners to strategize on the best actions to ensure an effective high-level meeting that results in ambitious national commitments to advance UHC. Information on past and upcoming meetings, and guidance note on conducting an advocacy meeting is available on the dedicated UN HLM on UHC Country Advocacy Meetings page on the CSEM website. 

CSEM at UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board
As part of the 44th meeting of the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board held from June 25-27, 2019, participants gathered for a one-day session dedicated to UHC. Keynote speakers, panelists, board members and other stakeholders shared experiences and perspectives about UHC under the theme "Delivering on SDG3: Strengthening and integrating comprehensive HIV responses into sustainable health systems for Universal Health Coverage." CSEM Advisory Group member Dr. Oanh Khuat of CSEM spoke on the first panel about how the HIV response can contribute to achieving UHC, highlighting five elements: multi-stakeholder engagement, civil society engagement, protection and promotion of human rights, the determination to tackle barriers to access and collective effort to make health services affordable. "Civil Society has created the momentum around decriminalization and human rights in the HIV response, we have the responsibility to carry it forward to achieve UHC," she said. To learn more about the meeting, click here.

CSEM at the Social Participation Technical Network meeting
The first face-to-face of the Social Participation Technical Network took place on 16-17 April 2019 in Geneva to inform research priorities for WHO in the development of the Handbook for Member States on social participation for UHC. The Network is co-chaired by Jean-Francois Delfraissy, President, National Bioethics Council, France; Justin Koonin, President, Acon/Civil Society Engagement Mechanism Representative; and Mette Kinoti, Chief Programmes Officer, Amref Health Africa. Read more about the meeting and see the final report here.

CSO advocates in Japan for the C20
A total of 830 participants from 40 countries and regions gathered in Japan to take part in the C20 (Civil 20 Summit) for 3 days on 21 – 23 April 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. In the lead up to this event, civil society members from various fields of work developed key recommendations through a process of dialogue and discussions over three months, which were submitted to Prime Minister Abe on 18 April. Civil society representatives from the UHC2030 CSEM Advisory Group presented the Key Asks of the UHC Movement and the CSEM Priority Actions. They called for G20 governments to commit to Head of State or Government attendance at the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC and agree indicators to measure progress of UHC in meeting the specific needs of vulnerable and neglected populations, including women, children, adolescents and youth, and those affected by neglected diseases. Read more.

CSEM at the World Health Assembly
Civil society organised a side event during the 72nd WHA in Geneva in May 2019 called Action and accountability on UHC: building momentum towards the UN High-level meeting. Civil society and communities shared their perspectives and elevated a call for governments and development partners to galvanize the political action and momentum needed to drive progress on UHC in the lead up to the meeting in September. 

The side event was organised by Save the Children and co-sponsored by UHC2030 and its Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (CSEM), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Global Health Council, Action Contre le Faim and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

At the WHA, the CSEM also co-hosted an event in collaboration with the Global Health Council and other partners called Community and civil society engagement for the Global Action Plan on Health and Well-being for All.

CSEM at Women Deliver
Universal health coverage was a central theme at Women Deliver 2019. The topics covered in the multiple UHC events include the use of data; community engagement; youth leadership; advocacy; country and regional experiences; artificial intelligence and digital technology. CSEM Advisory Group member Dr. Oanh Khuat spoke at the ‘From global movement to local action: Gender and SRHR within UHC’ side event, organized by International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Panelists shared their experiences on practical solutions to addressing gender inequalities and achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) through local commitments to UHC. Dr. Khuat emphasized the importance of, "Closely monitoring services in countries where donors are transitioning out." She pointed out the gaps in contraceptive services in her country Vietnam, sharing her organization's plan to advocate for the inclusion of these essential services into the national UHC package. 

UHC: Reaching the most left behind through community-based health care programmes
The event, ‘UHC: Reaching the most left behind through community-based health care programmes’ took place on 10 June in parallel with the intergovernmental negotiations of the UN HLM UHC Political Declaration. The event was hosted in New York City by IFRC, the World Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration, UNAIDS and the Ambassadors of Morocco and Spain. Amy Boldosser-Boesch of the CSEM Secretariat moderated a high-level panel in the meeting, which highlighted how the humanitarian and sustainable development imperative to leave no one behind is key to achieving UHC. Most importantly, participants including high-level officials present at this event got to hear directly from those who are left behind on a daily basis.

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