Reform the global financial architecture: statement for the High-Level Meeting on UHC

21/9/2023 - News

Statement drafted for the UN General Assembly 78 High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage – 21 September 2023

To all UN Member States,

The latest available evidence is sobriety. More than half of the world’s population is still not covered by essential health services, and there is little to no improvement in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health services in recent years. 2 billion people suffer financial hardship and too many people forgo healthcare because of financial barriers.

To reach those left behind, in particular those furthest left behind, member states must commit to knowing and recognizing who they are, where they are and to addressing the obstacles they face, using an intersectional lens.

Vulnerable populations are unlikely to be reached by using private profit-seeking capital. Public finance is needed to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage, because of its capacity to finance and fund what is in the public interest. But how? 

More than innovative mechanisms, it requires plugging the holes that drain the public purse. Sovereign debt and interest rates grew so much that interest payments cause significant reductions in public spending. And illicit financial flows cost African countries about US$88.6 billion annually.

Regrettably, the final draft of the Political Declaration on UHC omitted the remark on “countering illicit financial flows” for effective resource mobilization.

We call on member states to reform the international financial architecture and create frameworks for fair solutions to unsustainable debts and against illicit financial flows.
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