Skip to main content

From political will to law: Advancing universal health coverage in Africa and Asia-Pacific


09:00 – 10:30 CET (Geneva)

Countries worldwide committed to universal health coverage (UHC) as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reiterated their commitment in 2019 through the IPU resolution Achieving universal health coverage by 2030: The role of parliaments in ensuring the right to health.

These political commitments need to be formalized through national legislation. Although following the adoption of the SDGs, many countries have been pursuing change by enacting legislation and developing policy frameworks, progress needs to be accelerated. According to the most recent global data available, Asia and Africa account for 98 per cent of the global population impoverished by out-of-pocket health spending. Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Island Small States also have the lowest levels of health service coverage.

The workshop will present the findings of the first report on the implementation of the IPU resolution on UHC. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will reiterate the centrality of UHC and the role of parliaments in translating the aspiration of UHC into a reality for people through parliament’s legislative function. The workshop will deepen the understanding of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff about what UHC law is and how to develop and reform legislative frameworks to support UHC. As a platform for inter-parliamentary exchanges, it will also present country examples and practical recommendations for parliamentary action.

The workshop will provide a space for participants to ask questions and share country experiences. Parliaments may also submit written inputs on the topics under discussion to

It targets countries from Africa and Asia-Pacific. The target audience includes parliamentarians members of health committees and other committees dealing with health matters, and parliamentary staff supporting parliamentary work on health. The workshop will also be open to other interested parliamentarians and parliamentary staff and include the IPU Advisory Group on Health members and its technical partners.

The languages will be English and French (simultaneous interpretation).