10 Dec 2020
Virtual event co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Thailand, Georgia and Japan as well as the WHO.
Opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations, New York
at the 2020 International Universal Health Coverage Day Commemorative Event, Thursday 10 December 2020, 12.00-13.00 hrs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to join Ambassador Kimihiro, Ambassador Kaha, and Mr. Stewart Simonson in welcoming you all to the virtual 2020 Universal Health Coverage Day Commemorative Event.
Today, we are still moving together to build a healthier world for all. On the International UHC Day this year, we meet virtually not to celebrate our success but to be reminded of the reality where half of the world’s population still lacks coverage and access to essential health services. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated these pre-existing vulnerabilities.
We, therefore, reiterate the urgent need to deliver our commitments in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on UHC, as we have seen the cost of not doing so. In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all delegations who have co-sponsored the Joint Statement in support of the UNSG’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 and UHC initiated by the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of UHC and Global Health.
To truly achieve health for all, we need to bring this same spirit back home and across all sectors. Earlier this week, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health co-organized a UHC Day event in Bangkok, with our partners such as the WHO Thailand Country Office joining the discussion. The event was also attended by over a hundred participants from different sectors, who we hope will be inspired to continue to carry out the work on UHC and deliver tangible results on the ground.
Let us uphold this good spirit and really walk the talk during this critical Decade of Action and Delivery of SDGs, to recover from COVID-19 stronger, and to achieve a healthier world for all by 2030.