The CSEM, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and PAI convened a civil society pre-meeting on the eve of the Multi-Stakeholder Hearing for the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The purpose of the meeting was to devise strategies for optimal civil society engagement during the hearing on April 29, 2019 and ahead of the UN HLM on UHC. Held in New York City, the session brought together the International Partnership for UHC2030 (UHC2030) and CSEM members, as well as other civil society participants attending the multi-stakeholder hearing.
Participants identified several priorities for HLM on UHC advocacy. Firstly, they proposed the use of simplified language that is easy for government officials and non-health actors to understand. Secondly, they agreed on the World Health Assembly as a key moment for civil society to conduct HLM advocacy. Thirdly, civil society will have the opportunity to provide input into the draft HLM on UHC declaration document. The session agreed that it is important for civil society to use these opportunities. Where possible, CSEM should facilitate financial support to enable civil society to participate in key moments including the HLM. For updates on opportunities for civil society engagement, click here to join the CSEM and receive all communications.
Civil society representatives from various low and middle-income countries raised issues around the need to position civil society actors as drivers of accountability at the country level, including engaging them in co-developing strong accountability mechanisms to track progress on UHC and be prepared to monitor progress on commitments that will be made following the HLM. They also expressed concern around the lack of partnership language in UHC advocacy: while government has the responsibility to achieve UHC, it should be clear that civil society is also prepared to partner with and support government. They emphasized the importance of country-level engagement, proposing the use of existing platforms to engage marginalized groups and other civil society members in advocating for UHC reforms in line with the SDG and UHC2030 principles. For more information on the country advocacy meetings that CSEM and partners are facilitating in a number of countries, and guidance on how to hold a meeting, click here.
Read all about the multi-stakeholder hearing, where civil society and other stakeholders had the opportunity to raise their voices about the upcoming UN HLM on UHC, on the UHC2030 website. The hearing was also live-streamed on UN web TV. To watch the deliberations, click on the links below: