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Inter-Parliamentary Union resolution: Achieving universal health coverage by 2030

  |   SUN Country Network

© Kevin R. Hamdorf ADB (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A landmark resolution calling for parliaments to take all legal and policy measures to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, with nutrition integrated, has been adopted by the world’s parliaments gathered in Serbia for the 141st IPU Assembly. The resolution urges parliaments to put in place effective UHC legislation to ensure that the right to public health and medical care is guaranteed for all in law and in practice, without discrimination.

Over 1,800 parliamentarians and UN and civil society partners from around the world met in Belgrade from 13 to 17 October. The resolution was adopted at the closing plenary Assembly session. The resolution is designed to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage for up to 5 billion people who are projected to lack access to essential health services by 2030. It follows the Political Declaration adopted at the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on universal health coverage in September.

“[The resolution] Calls on Parliaments to ensure that national policies to implement UHC address malnutrition in all its forms, with special attention to the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and children during the first 1,000 days.

IPU resolution, paragraph 12

Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU President, said: “This landmark IPU parliamentary resolution has the potential to have a real impact on people’s lives – if we want it to. It’s a question of political will. As parliamentarians, we have a duty to the people we represent to make their lives better by making universal health coverage a reality, especially for women, children and adolescents. This is one of the main priorities of the IPU- to translate international agreements into national realities for our countries and people.”

Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General and SUN Movement Lead group Member said: “The world has 11 years left to make good on its commitment to the 2030 global development agenda. This timely IPU resolution is a roadmap for parliamentarians to help them put in place the necessary legislation and resources for universal health coverage and to make sure their governments are fulfilling their promises.”

“There is now unprecedented momentum and political commitment behind the conviction that health is a human right to be enjoyed by all people, not a privilege for the few,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization who was in Belgrade for the occasion. “Building on the political declaration on universal health coverage approved at the United Nations General Assembly, this milestone IPU resolution is the vital next step in translating that commitment into concrete laws and resources to make UHC a reality in the lives of people all over the world.”

The resolution calls on parliaments to use all their power to hold their respective national governments accountable for the effective implementation of UHC commitments, to monitor the impact of UHC policies and programmes, and to establish parliamentary mechanisms to measure progress on achieving access to health care for all by 2030.

The IPU Forum of Women Parliamentarians meeting at the Assembly also looked at ways to ensure universal health coverage addresses the needs of women and girls and to remove the barriers that prevent them from accessing health-care services as well as helping to reinforce the gender component of the resolution.

Resolution – Achieving universal health coverage by 2030: The role of parliaments in ensuring the right to health


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