Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Remarks at Side Event promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Sep 18, 2017

More 21st century partnerships that connect the dots between innovators, health systems and patients are critical to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage by 2030. Credit: UNDP.

As prepared for delivery.

It is a great pleasure for me to make a few remarks at this important side event on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).  The 2030 Agenda is a bold action plan of for people, planet and prosperity and an opportunity to leave no one behind as we transform our world.  I would like to speak from the perspective of UNDP on how we, together with our partners, can support the visionary target UN Member States set to achieve UHC. 

Let me start by underscoring the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships as a vehicle to attain UHC. Such partnerships are key in connecting players nationally and globally, across sectors and silos to drive progress on UHC. UNDP has a history of working with WHO and other UN and multilateral partners to address the social, environmental and economic determinants of health. We remain committed to this work and look forward to working even more closely with WHO and other partners to strengthen multi-sectoral partnerships for UHC.

Partnerships are also critical for the development of new medicines, diagnostics and vaccines for TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). To this end, UNDP is proud to partner with the Government of Japan, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the biomedical industry to support the GHIT Fund which catalyses the development of new health technologies for TB, malaria and NTDs.  

While health technology innovation is critical, this alone will not allow countries to achieve UHC. Additional capacities and policies are needed to effectively deliver essential health technologies to the people in need. The UNDP-led Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) which brings together the WHO-hosted Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases and PATH, an international NGO, makes it possible to strengthen the policies and capacities of low- and middle-income countries institutions so that patients in need receive new health technologies as quickly as possible. 

The investment by the Government of Japan in both the GHIT Fund and ADP is visionary because it bridges the innovation and access gap. More 21st century partnerships that connect the dots between innovators, health systems and patients are critical to the attainment of UHC by 2030 and UNDP stands ready work with WHO and other partners on this important objective.

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