Universal Health Coverage: High-level Meeting discusses global health priorities during the UN General Assembly

View The Site

The 74th session of the UN General Assembly will happen in New York, USA, from 17-30 September 2019. 

This year, a one-day high-level meeting on universal health coverage (UHC) will be convened by the President of the United Nations General Assembly a day before the start of the UNGA general debate, on 23 September from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm, consisting of an opening segment, a plenary segment for general discussion, two multi-stakeholder panels and a brief closing segment.

UHC means that all people and communities receive the quality health services they need, without financial hardship. Key barriers to UHC achievement include poor infrastructures and availability of basic amenities, out of pocket payments and catastrophic expenditures, shortages and mal-distribution of qualified health workers, prohibitively expensive good quality medicines and medical products, low access to digital health and innovative technologies, among others.

Primary health care (PHC) is the foundation for Universal Health Coverage. PHC oriented health systems provide quality services that are comprehensive, continuous, coordinated and people-centered, including a priority focus on newborn health.

Also, this year at UNGA there will be a high-level commemorative event to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child during the high-level week of the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly, on 25 September 2019, from 8.30 to 9.30 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.

The General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, where Member States have equal representation: one nation, one vote. All 193 Member States of the United Nations are represented in this unique forum to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the UN Charter, such as development, peace and security, and international law, among other priorities. In September, all the Members meet in the General Assembly Hall in New York for the annual General Assembly session.

Other Events:

Accountability for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health at the Centre of UHC

22 September, 8:30am-11:30am

The Grand Central Ballroom, The Westin Grand Central, 212 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA

The PMNCH Accountability Breakfast, co-sponsored by the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) Secretariat is the annual galvanizing moment for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. This year, the breakfast will be held a day before the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC): Moving Together for a Healthier World and will be a clarion call for greater accountability for women, children and adolescents as central to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through interactive demonstrations and high-level panelists, discussions will review progress to date and the tools and guidance needed for strengthening accountability.

Power on the Path to UHC 2030: Nurses and Midwives as Navigators, Innovators and Accelerators

23 September, 12:30pm-3pm

Westin Grand Central, 212 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA

Join Jhpiego, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the International Council of Nurses, the International Confederation of Midwives and Unitaid on Monday, September 23, 2019, for a groundbreaking program that highlights why nurses and midwives are the key to achieving the ambitious goals of universal health coverage. This event will showcase how global leaders and field-based nurses and midwives are innovating to transform care delivery, transcending the confines of their traditional roles to improve quality and accessibility of care to accelerate attainment of universal health coverage.

RSVP here.

High-level side event on protecting children with conflict

23 September, 3:30pm

Location TBD

The event will ask Member States to recommit to upholding international humanitarian law and investing in the recovery – both physical and psychosocial – of children
affected by conflict. Nadia Murad, the human rights activist and Nobel Prize laureate, will speak. Attendance at head of state level is expected.

Participation: If senior representatives from your organisations would be interested in attending or you would like more details, please contact Dragica Mikavica at dragica.mikavica@savethechildren.org and Laura Kelleher at laura.kelleher@savethechildren.org.

The AMR Challenge: UNGA Side Event

23 September, 6pm-9pm

Cipriani Midtown, 110 East 42nd Street, New York, New York, USA

Hosted by HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the AMR Challenge is a way for governments, private companies, and non-governmental organizations worldwide to make formal commitments that further the progress against antimicrobial resistance. The AMR Challenge encourages a One Health approach, recognizing that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Please join the CDC and your fellow AMR Resistance Fighters to celebrate the culmination of the AMR Challenge at an unofficial side event for the 74th United Nations General Assembly. We look forward to hearing how your organization stepped up to slow down antimicrobial resistance.

RSVP here.

Funding the Future 2.0: The Next Frontier for Financing Models in Health

24 September, 8:15am-9:30am

Convene, 605 Third Avenue, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA

With only 11 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community must explore the solutions offered by alternative funding models. This session will convene a group of thought leaders and practitioners to discuss the next frontier for development finance by evaluating what we’ve learned about the current landscape and identifying the steps forward. We’ll take stock of the successes and steps forward in health financing over the past year and will focus on catalyzing ways to promote further donor engagement and government participation in an effort to accelerate the partnerships and financing needed to move the needle on maternal health.


UHC and the Power of the People: The Case for Investing in a Qualified Health Workforce

24 September, 12:30pm-2:00pm

Convene, 605 Third Avenue, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA

Investing in a qualified health workforce is key in supporting healthy populations and prosperous economies. Yet, the World Health Organization estimates there will be a shortfall of 18 million health care workers by 2030. Join us for a practical and forward-looking conversation highlighting the importance of investing in doctors, nurses, and midwives to achieve UHC – and exploring the paths that will get us there.

During the event, discussions will take stock of the efforts we’ve seen so far and explore paths forward – including how we can encourage increased collaboration to support health care workers globally. Discussions will look at integrated approaches to health workforce investments, highlight the benefits of focusing on people to solve key health issues, and efforts to drive political will in investing in a qualified health workforce to support global health systems.


Investing in child rights to achieve the SDGs

24 September, from 1:15pm

Location TBD

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the most widely ratified treaty in history – the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – and this event, closely linked to the themes of the five summits in high level week, will outline the accelerated actions that need to be taken to realise child rights, further underlining that the SDGs can only be achieved if the rights of all children are upheld. The event is co-hosted by the child-focused agencies- Save the Children, Child Fund Alliance, Plan International, SOS Children’s Villages and World Vision International. If you would like to attend or require further information, please contact Arelys Bellorini at World Vision: Arelys_Bellorini@wvi.org

Locally Leading the Way to UHC: USAID’s Inclusive Health Access Prize

24 September, 3:00pm-5:00pm

Harvard Club, 35 W 44th St, New York, NY, USA

More than half of the world’s 7.7 billion people are not receiving all of the essential health services they need. Yet experience shows that countries that have prioritized integration and partnership between the public sector and private local partners have been more successful in their path toward universal health coverage.

Leading up to the United Nations General Assembly’s first-ever High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and USAID’s Office of Health Systems invite you to Locally Leading the Way to UHC on September 24th.

This event will recognize the winners of USAID’s Inclusive Health Access Prize: private local partners that prove public and private sectors working together can expand access to affordable, accountable, and reliable health services in their own countries.

RSVP details and livestream details will be accessible at the link as they become available.

Pamoja for Mamas

24 September, 6pm-9pm

Bryant Park Grill, West 40th Street, NY, New York, USA

Touch Foundation’s mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering. Touch improves healthcare in Africa by strengthening local health systems.

Pamoja means together in Swahili. Pamoja for Mamas will celebrate one of Touch’s 3 major programs, M-Mama: an emergency transport system for women during pregnancy and childbirth and their newborns.

Connecting women to care in 2 minutes in private taxis, M-Mama reduced maternal deaths by >25% in its initial launch and is now being expanded to the Shinyanga region of Tanzania, as well as Lesotho and additional countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.

RSVP here.