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GA at UN: Civil Society Engagement Mechanism

September 25, 2019

The Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC 2030 (CSEM), which the Global Alliance is a member of, held an interactive session this morning titled Post-HLM Civil Society Strategy. The focus was to discuss an overview of the HLM on UHC and its outcomes from the lens of civil society and discuss next steps for action.

For civil society, there were 4 key priorities leading into the HLM: (1) increase public health financing and financial protection, (2) leave no one behind, (3) focus on health workers (paid and unpaid) to grow the health force, and (4) engage civil society and community in UHC implementation to ensure accountability.

To frame the conversation today, the achievement of consensus on the political declaration was recognized as a success, understanding that it provides a framework for post-HLM advocacy.  The language of the declaration did not regress, despite contentious issues surrounding migration and sexual rights and reproductive health. Member states all agreed to, and can be held to account for important concepts introduced and reiterated through language such as the right to health, the requirement for inclusion throughout the life course (such as promotion and prevention), recognizing the role of civil society and community and the need for meaningful partnerships. There were notable omissions in the HLM surrounding key populations and a lack of focus on specific targets for accountability, monitoring and tracking purposes (particularly needed for 2023 to assess progress). However, this platform provides a basis for which we, as civil society members, will move forward. 

As we discussed pivotal lessons learned from past health-related HLMs we agreed that we must collectively breakdown siloed efforts and work together as civil society for coordinated leadership despite the varied and complex health-related priorities each organization has, ensure we collect disaggregated data for financing and accountability, and assist in developing country specific national plans with concrete targets. Although it is recognized achieving UHC is far in the distance, the fact that ‘seeds have been planted’ suggest the process has begun. #cspostHLM #GA4MH

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