UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz, as member of the Universal Healthcare 2030 Movement reminds world leaders of their universal health coverage commitments.


The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing health systems around the world to the limit, having an immense impact on the way in which we are living. Our response, as a humanity, to the outbreak and beyond will shape the future of the world, and it is essential to face this human crisis with a renewed commitment to protecting health services, and the public servants that carry them out.

In this light, the Universal Health Care 2030 Movement, of which UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz is a member of the advisory panel, has issued a call for global leaders to remember their commitments to universal health coverage, ensuring no one is left behind in the midst of critical health crises, and beyond.

The movement, which includes local, regional, and national governments, as well as members from the civil society, global health networks and Academia was founded before the crisis and has previously endorsed the most ambitious political declaration on health in history, adopted by world leaders at the United Nations High-Level Meeting “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”, in September 2019.

The UHC movement has developed political recommendations, that call for leaders to acknowledge that Universal Health Care is a cross-cutting issue, that can save lives and have a positive impact in the provision of all public services that surround health. As member of the Pane, Secretary General Emilia Saiz defends the importance of the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, and waste management facilities as critical to support health services.

The call of the panel, in the middle of the most challenging health crisis of the 21st century, achieves an entirely new dimension. Ensuring political leadership beyond health, calling to leave no-one behind, ensuring bold regulatory and legislative measures in healthcare, and gender-equitable responses are just some of the necessary recommendations that can allow global leaders to respond to the outbreak.

From UCLG, we are proud to be able to contribute to the discussion on healthcare and to shed light on the importance of healthcare provision as a key basic service for our communities. We stand in solidarity with those communities that have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19, and we thank all of the local and regional leaders that are working through the crisis, ensuring the provision of services for their communities and the protection of public servants.