Health and Medical Care
Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) co-hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs HAYASHI Yoshimasa
On September 21, commencing at around 11:00 a.m. (local time. 0:00 on September 22 Japan time) for about 90 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visiting New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, co-hosted the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The overview of the meeting is as follows:
In addition to Minister HAYASHI, the attendees of the meeting included H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand; and H.E. Mr. Zurab Azarashvili, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia as UHC Friends Co-Chairs; as well as H.E. Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly; H.E. Ms. Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization; and other representatives.
- Minister HAYASHI noted that at present, half of the world's population does not have access to basic health services, including response to COVID-19, and under such conditions, human security is threatened, and the economic and social development of nations are hampered. He stated that through the COVID-19 pandemic, it hit home to the world that investment in health systems is critical to strengthening the foundations of resilient economies and societies. Minister HAYASHI also pointed out the need to make use of the momentum to strengthen and accelerate efforts to achieve UHC, in a spirit of “leaving no one's health behind”.
- In addition, Minister HAYASHI referred to Japan’s efforts under the banner of achieving UHC, such as approximately $5 billion of assistance to support the fight against COVID-19, including through up to $1.5 billion for the COVAX facility, and Japan’s pledge to contribute up to $1.08 billion over the next three years to the Global Fund in order to contribute to measures against the three major infectious diseases and to strengthen health systems. He emphasized his determination to continue to lead discussions and efforts to promote UHC in the post COVID-19 era, towards the G7 Hiroshima Summit and the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in the coming year.
- Attendees expressed their views on the impact of COVID-19 on promotion of UHC and the progress towards achieving UHC. The participants actively discussed on the ways to maintain and strengthen the momentum, and to further accelerate their efforts towards achieving UHC.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC): To ensure that all people can receive the quality health services they need at an affordable cost without financial hardship.
The Group of Friends of UHC: The Group of Friends of UHC was established in December 2018, facilitated by Japan. It serves as an informal platform for UN Member States to build momentum towards achieving UHC by 2030 worldwide as stated in the Sustainable