On 12 December 2012, the United Nations unanimously adopted a historical resolution calling for action to accelerate progress toward universal access to quality, affordable healthcare without facing financial hardship.

5 years later, in 2017, UN General Assembly proclaimed 12 December as the International Universal Health Coverage Day in an effort to raise awareness on the paramount importance of strengthening health systems to ensure they are equitable, resilient, and able to meet everyone’s needs.

Today, we are at a critical juncture, where the devastating consequences of the last two years threaten not only to fail to meet the SDG 2030 agenda but also to reverse already achieved development gains in many areas. The pandemic toll has been unprecedented and yet to be fully assessed, but with resolute recommitment from the highest political level, countries can still deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

The theme chosen for celebration in 2021 Leave no one`s health behind-Invest in health system for all is proof of the pressing call for countries to champion smarter investments in health which would rebuild the post-pandemic world in a better and more equitable way.

Today’s harsh reality urges us to reconfigure, adjust and adapt our health systems to build resilience and responsiveness to the needs of our people while placing people-centred primary healthcare at the core of the functioning of high-performance health systems.

The SEE Health Network provides an excellent platform to join forces with multi-stakeholder partners in the SEE region to maintain health high on the political agenda, and to target the right investments for better impact.

The Member States of the SEEHN are guided by the Chisinau Pledge priorities, which embedded at its core the universal health coverage approach. Moreover, SEEHN is determined to contribute to the ambitious strategic agenda based on the WHO European Programme of Work, 2020–2025 – “United Action for Better Health in Europe” and the recently endorsed Roadmap for Health in the Western Balkans, 2021-2025 as important tools for policy coherence and a pathway for investment in health in the region.

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