On Monday 29 April, the President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) convened an interactive multi-stakeholder hearing on universal health coverage (UHC) as part of the preparatory process for the first UN High-Level Meeting on UHC. Over 500 stakeholders attended the hearing, and the majority of participants were representatives from civil society.
The hearing was divided into three panel sessions to discuss UHC as a driver for inclusive development and prosperity, UHC as a commitment to equity, and multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder action for UHC. During each session, panelists discussed how to work together to deliver UHC, and called upon governments to lead the way to ensuring health for all.
As part of the interactive hearing, approximately twenty stakeholders were able to deliver oral statements, including a few members of the NCD Alliance's network - the World Heart Federation, the Framework Convention Alliance, The George Institute, and IOGT International, as well as the NCD Alliance itself. Participants both in person and those following remotely were able to submit questions via an online portal that were posed to panelists during each session.
The interactive hearing was scheduled at an opportune time in the process leading up to the UN HLM, as it took place before negotiations began on the outcome document, allowing the co-facilitators and Member States to hear stakeholder's priorities prior to the release of the zero draft, which is expected in mid-May. The PGA will circulate a summary of the hearing in the coming weeks, and all statements will be posted online.