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UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage 2023
The UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) 2023 will provide countries and all stakeholders an opportunity to reinvigorate progress towards delivering health for all. It will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on the third day of the general debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at its 78th session.
September 21, 2023
UN Headquarters, New York, USA
More about the HLM on UHC
The meeting aims to provide an opportunity for mobilizing the highest political support for UHC as the cornerstone to achieving SDG 3 (good health and well-being), unite all health stakeholders together under a common theme, and commit to action-oriented goals on UHC for 2030.
At the High-Level Meeting, organized under the direction of the President of the General Assembly, in close consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO), Heads of State and Government will approve a concise and action-oriented political declaration, agreed in advance by consensus through intergovernmental negotiations, which will be submitted by the President of the General Assembly for adoption by the UNGA.
A United Nations (UN) High-level Meeting (HLM) is organised under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and brings together all 193 Member States to address issues of global importance and identify new goals or strategies set out in a political declaration (or similar document). Previous meetings have addressed other pressing global health issues such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and antimicrobial resistance.
The 2023 high-level meeting (HLM) aims for a concise, action oriented declaration based on a comprehensive review of the implementation of the 2019 declaration, lessons learned from COVID-19, identified gaps, and evidence-based recommendations to accelerate progress towards the achievement of universal health coverage by 2030.
UN High-Level Meetings on Universal Health Coverage
The first UN HLM on UHC in 2019 ended with the adoption of a political declaration. This declaration represented a significant milestone for global health as it set out a high-level framework for the development and implementation of national UHC plans with the engagement of civil society organisations and other stakeholders to implement UHC by 2030.
The meeting will provide countries and stakeholders with an opportunity to reinvigorate progress towards delivering health for all. In September 2019, the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on UHC, world leaders endorsed the most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration on health in history However, according to the latest global monitoring report on universal health coverage, UHC progress is not on track. The COVID-19 pandemic too has bought the world away from the 2023 targets set by the political declaration:
- Progressively covering 1 billion additional people, with a view of covering all people by 2030;
- Stopping the rise and reversing the trend of catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure and eliminate impoverishment due to health-related expenses by 2030.
UHC2030‘s latest State of UHC Commitment Review Key Findings also find that in 2022, progress on UHC has stalled and in some cases, has reversed. The 2023 High-Level Meeting will highlight the concrete action that is needed to strengthen equitable health systems – including public health functions that are critical to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
Preparation for the HLM on UHC in 2023
In preparation for the 2023 HLM, technical briefings and thematic dialogue series are organized. Through the Group of Friends of UHC and Global Health platform, WHO and other key stakeholders will provide updates on the latest data, evidence, and policy recommendations. Technical briefs in support of the different meetings are available below.
Preparations have already begun for the second UN HLM on UHC (UHC) in September 2023 and, over the course of the coming months, different stakeholders will release their assessments of progress and priorities for change in order to influence inter-governmental negotiations.
- World Health Organization: WHO UHC Global Roadmap: preparing for the UN HLM 2023 and achieving Health for All
- World Health Organization: Calendar of thematic briefings & dialogues
There will be several different opportunities for organisations and individuals to input into this process and UHC 2030 has provided useful resources covering frequently asked questions and timelines.
The multi-stakeholder hearings on health will take place on May 8 – 9 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA. The events starts at 10.00 (New York time) and will end at 17.00 the following day.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly will convene a series of multi-stakeholder hearings in preparation of the High-Level Meetings on Universal Health Coverage, the fight against Tuberculosis and Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response.
- The Hearings will provide an opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to contribute to the ongoing preparatory process for the High-Level Meetings, with a focus on the current state of efforts and top needs to accelerate response.
- Participants will be encouraged to exchange views on key priorities for the High-Level Meeting, while underscoring experiences and best practices on the ground, highlighting the special challenges faced by civil society and other relevant stakeholders working in the field and the need for stronger accountability at all levels.
- The Hearings will bring together representatives of the Member States, observers of the General Assembly, parliamentarians, representative of local government, relevant UN entities, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, professional associations and the private sector and broader communities.
- This includes ensuring the participation and voices of women, children, youth and indigenous leadership.
- The Hearings will be live-streamed.
- The outcome for each will be a summary prepared by the President of the General Assembly. It will be circulated to all Member States and other stakeholders.
- Each half-day interactive Hearing will be divided into an opening segment, two interactive panel discussions and a closing segment. You can view a preliminary programme on the PGA website here.
- The two panels will feature introductory statements by panelists followed by an interactive segment. Guiding questions for each thematic panel are provided in the provisional programme framework available on the PGA website.
Join the final information session on the UN HLM multi-stakeholder hearing preparation on April 24th.
View Key Documents
Key documents have been made available in the event’s social media toolkit.