The UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

On December 12, 2018, the United Nations passed a resolution to hold the UN High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). On September 23, 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York City, the UN HLM on UHC was held under the theme of the UN HLM is “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World.”

The International Health Partnership for UHC2030 (UHC2030) supported the preparatory process, particularly regarding “sharing evidence and good practices, challenges, and lessons learned.” In consultation with actors of the UHC movement, UHC2030 developed the Key Asks from the UHC Movement for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage to provide the foundation for coordinated advocacy efforts and to influence the UHC Political Declaration.  Based on feedback provided by over 300 civil society from over 50 countries through face-to-face consultations and a civil society online survey, the CSEM developed and launched the Civil Society Priority Actions for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. The document amplifies the voice of civil society and builds on the framework of the UHC2030 Key Asks, providing advocacy messages for civil society to use in UHC advocacy.

The UN HLM on UHC resulted in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.


Calls to Action

To achieve this, the CSEM Advisory Group call on UHC2030 to:

  • Work with the UN Secretary-General’s office, Hungary and Thailand to plan to avoid the business-as-usual scenario for the High-Level Meeting, including offering to liaise with countries for in-advance commitments to UHC
  • In Spring 2019, ensure all governments are sent their current UHC data in a template, including information on domestic resources for health, out-of-pocket payments, and impoverishment, % of health spending on primary health care and service level coverage and quality.
  • Countries to return this template with actions they are taking to improve their scores. These should be published on the UHC2030 and HLM websites in advance of the meeting.
  • WHO, World Bank and national civil society should work with governments to develop ambitious national UHC Action Roadmaps which identify the package of essential health services coverage of the whole population, especially those left behind, and the fair funding package to fund them.
  • These roadmaps should be published in advance of the HLM, with clear, measurable milestones.
  • Bilateral and multilateral donors should publish, in advance of the HLM, assessment of their alignment to supporting UHC and health systems with action plans to address weaknesses.
  • Civil society should be appropriately engaged throughout this process, influence their national roadmaps, publicize commitments, and build national accountability through parliaments, media, and civil society fora.  National civil society perspectives should be published alongside government statements.


For more information on UN HLM on UHC visit the UCH2030 HLM on UHC webpage