As 72nd UN General Assembly opens, unified surge of support for strong, equitable health systems that leave no one behind

Universal Health Coverage Coalition, now 1,000+ organizations strong, launches petition with Global Citizen

NEW YORK, 18 September 2017 – Today, the movement for Health for All witnesses one of the largest shows of support yet from the United Nations system and country leaders. In parallel, Global Citizen and the Universal Health Coverage Coalition are launching a petition calling on world leaders to make good on their promises of universal health coverage and to reaffirm that “health is a human right, not a privilege.”

It is nearly five years since the United Nations’ historic and unanimous endorsement of universal health coverage – the goal of ensuring everyone can access quality health care without financial hardship. Today, heads of state and heads of UN agencies are participating in a high-level event, World Leaders for Universal Health Coverage, to jointly reaffirm that universal health coverage is a prerequisite for sustainable development (livestream starting at 16:30 ET at UN Web TV).

Notable participants in the high-level event include: Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General; Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Director-General of the World Health Organization; Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP; Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF; Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of World Bank Group; Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of OECD; Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation; and Shinichi Kitaoka, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Citizens Speak Out: Health Is a Human Right

Today, the Universal Health Coverage Coalition and Global Citizen are proud to announce a petition that calls on country leaders to increase investments in the health of their own people, by establishing concrete goals on the road to universal health coverage that can be advanced within a single national policy cycle. Concerned citizens in every country are encouraged to add their name to the petition, Dear World Leaders: It’s Time to Deliver on the Promise of Universal Health Coverage, at the Global Citizen website.

Co-sponsoring both the high-level event and the petition is the Universal Health Coverage Coalition, which as of today officially stands 1,000+ organizations strong. Since its launch in 2014 with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the UHC Coalition has become one of the world’s largest and most inclusive global platforms advocating for stronger, more equitable health systems, representing more than 120 countries and civil society organizations across health and development.

Looking to Tokyo in December

The next major milestone for universal health coverage advocates and champions will be 12 December, Universal Health Coverage Day – the 5th anniversary of the United Nations’ unanimous resolution on universal health coverage. Last year, UHC Day generated 96 partner events in 44 countries and engaged 19 Ministries of Health.

This year, as part of partner-led activities around the world, the Government of Japan, World Bank Group, WHO, UNICEF, UHC2030 and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will host the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Forum in Tokyo, 12-15 December. The Forum will be a major opportunity to shift the conversation from global consensus to national progress – spotlighting country breakthroughs and citizen advocacy efforts that bring us closer to making health for all a reality.


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