Closing Remarks by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Ministerial Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, One Year Commemoration of the High-Level Meeting on UHC, Measuring Progress, Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of COVID-19, Hosted by the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage and Global Health and the World Health Organization

(As delivered) 

Good morning, good evening, and good afternoon. Thank you Elizabeth Cousins for your nice moderating.

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Ministers and other high-level speakers and the speaker from civil society for sharing their views and suggestions on how to tackle this unprecedented human security crisis caused by COVID-19. I believe today’s meeting was instrumental in confirming the relevance of UHC in the COVID context and renewing the commitment of our Leaders to the Political Declaration on UHC that they endorsed a year ago.

In recent months, international efforts to fight COVID-19 such as the ACT-Accelerator have shed light on the development of vaccines, diagnostic tools and treatment. In addition, we shall not forget the strengthening of the health system is a vital pillar in the ACT-Accelerator framework. As we have heard repeatedly today, UHC under a resilient and effective health system is one of the most critical factors in combatting COVID-19, as well as for preventing future pandemics and minimizing their social and economic impacts.

We are encouraged by yesterday’s launch of the Secretary General’s policy brief on COVID-19 and UHC. In order to promote the ideas put forward in the policy brief, the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends are now drafting a joint statement. We will present it to you soon and hope as many Member States as possible will join.

Finally, the Group of Friends of UHC is planning future events, including on the occasion of the UHC Day in December, engaging Member States and other stakeholders. This Group is open to all Member States, and we welcome more countries to join with new ideas and suggestions.

Thank you again and please stay safe and healthy. Thank you very much.