At the UN General Assembly in New York City, Member States gathered today for one of the key events this week – a High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). They adopted a high-level political declaration aimed at providing access to essential health services for all people by 2030, while ensuring that such services do not expose individuals and families to financial hardship.

The declaration calls for governments to provide greater financial risk protection to address out-of-pocket health expenditures, while progressively covering one billion additional people with quality essential health services and quality, essential, affordable, and effective medicines, vaccines, and technologies by 2023, and an additional two billion people by 2030. The declaration calls for another high-level meeting to be held in 2023 to review implementation of this year’s declaration.

The political declaration is “the most comprehensive agreement ever reached on global health,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the opening session. “This is a significant achievement that will drive progress for the next decade.”

Importantly, UN Member States recognized the critical role of the private sector in making universal coverage a reality. UHC2030 Private Sector Constituency issued a statement highlighting how the private sector can work together with other stakeholders to achieve better health and well-being for all people at all ages. In addition, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) developed a set of Policy Perspectives on Universal Health Coverage from the Innovative Biopharmaceutical Industry. Crowell & Moring International was pleased to contribute to this publication, alongside contributors from the Center for Global Development, Chatham House, PATH, AMREF Health Africa, and others.