UNGA to Begin Negotiating Declaration on Universal Health Coverage
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
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The permanent representatives of Hungary and Thailand have been appointed to lead consultations on a political declaration on universal health coverage, for adoption at a high-level meeting in September 2019.

The permanent representatives of Hungary and Thailand also served as co-facilitators for negotiations on the modalities for the meeting.

SDG target 3.8 calls for achieving universal health coverage by 2030, including financial risk protection and access to quality healthcare, medicines and vaccines.

16 January 2019: The permanent representatives of Hungary and Thailand will lead consultations on a political declaration on universal health coverage (UHC). The declaration will be adopted at the UN General Assembly’s high-level meeting on UHC in September 2019. SDG target 3.8 calls for achieving universal health coverage by 2030, including financial risk protection and access to quality healthcare, medicines and vaccines.

In December 2016, the UNGA underlined the primary responsibility of Member States to accelerate the transition towards universal health coverage (resolution 71/159), and in December 2017 the Assembly decided to hold a high-level 2019 meeting on the subject (resolution 72/139), with the text also calling for all people to have equal access to health services. Member States also agreed to proclaim 2 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (resolution 72/138).

In August 2018, Member States decided (resolution 73/131) that the UNGA’s high-level meeting on UHC will:

  • Focus on the theme, ‘UHC: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World’;
  • Consist of an opening segment, a plenary segment, two multi-stakeholder panels and a closing segment; and
  • Approve a “concise and action-oriented political declaration” that will be agreed in advance by consensus through intergovernmental negotiations.

UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has announced the appointment of Katalin Bogyay of Hungary and Vitavas Srivihok of Thailand to conduct informal consultations with Member States to produce the political declaration. The permanent representatives of Hungary and Thailand also served as co-facilitators for negotiations on the modalities for the meeting.

UHC is part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) three-prong work programme for 2019-2023. The programme’s “triple billion” target calls for: ensuring UHC for one billion more people; protecting one billion more people from health emergencies; and ensuring better health and wellbeing for one billion more people. On World Health Day 2018, held on 7 April, the WHO launched a campaign for UHC. It emphasized that in order to achieve SDG target 3.8, one billion more people must have coverage by 2023.

The UNGA’s high-level meeting on UHC will convene on 23 September 2019, in New York, US. [SDG Knowledge Hub story on UHC Day resolution] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on adoption of modalities] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on three high-level meetings on health]


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