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The Panama Forum on UHC

On November 25th and 26th 2013, the Latin America and Caribbean parliamentary seminar on “Right to Health and the Role of Parliaments to achieve the Universal Health Coverage” took place in Panamá City, Panama.

This seminar was organized by IAPG with the support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Parliamentarians from Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay participated as well as representatives from PAHO/WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA LACRO and World Bank Institute. The main goals of the seminar were: a) analyze the elements to move health systems towards UHC in the Region of the Americas, b) Contribute to a thoughtful analysis of the common elements and challenges that characterize the UHC in the parliamentary activity in Latin America, and c) Build alliances, mobilize political will in Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote universal health coverage dimensions. .

Parliamentarians committed to the eradication of poverty are in a unique position to move the UHC agenda forward so that the right to health becomes a reality

It is necessary to build a strong and effective partnership with parliamentarians and high-level decision-makers who can promote the adoption of new laws, monitor the effective implementation of the international commitments made by their governments through their oversight role . Parliamentarians committed to the eradication of poverty are in a unique position to move the UHC agenda forward so that the right to health becomes a reality in their countries and at a global level.

The deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 is fast approaching. An appropriate political environment will be key to position UHC on the top of the agenda and build support among legislators and decision-makers to shape a post-2015 development framework that includes universal health coverage.  

Global Parliamentary Network on Universal Health Coverage

Bellagio Center, Italy, 26 February 2014

The Global Parliamentary Network on Universal Health Coverage

The Global Parliamentary Network on UHC was launched on February 26, 2014 in Bellagio, Italy with the adoption of the Bellagio Declaration on UHC. 

Within the framework of a project sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the IAPG convened a Parliamentary Forum at the Bellagio Center in Italy titled: “Strengthening Parliamentary Leadership Towards Universal Health Coverage in Low and Middle Income Countries”. The aim of the forum was to create a space for sharing ideas and best practices, building alliances, and mobilizing the political will necessary among parliamentarians to promote universal health coverage at a global level..

Parliamentarians from 9 countries attended the meeting. During the meeting Hon. Marco Nunez was elected Chair of the Network and five Vice-Chairs were elected representing each of the sub regions (Arab region, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Caribbean, Africa):

Mr. Marco Antonio Núñez (Chile) - Chair

Ms Maria Ivone Soares, MP (Mozambique)

Ms. Sahar Alqawasmi, MP (Palestinian Auth.) -Vice Chair

Mr. Amery Browne, MP (Trinidad & Tobago) -Vice Chair

Mr. Sharon Garin, MP (Philippines)

Ms. Gabriela Montaño, Senator (Bolivia) -Vice Chair (a.i.)

Mr. Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, MP (Ghana) -Vice Chair

Mr.. Chris Baryomunsi, MP (Uganda)

Mr. Van Tien Nguyen, MP (Vietnam) -Vice Chair

As the network is expanding its membership, interested parliamentarians can request information by email to Carla Rivera, IAPG Executive Director at

Universal Health Coverage

Health is a human right and as such, it is an integral part of the international human rights framework, playing a key role in development and poverty eradication.  Every year, millions of people suffer and die from preventable causes because they have no access to necessary medical care.

For the World Health Organization, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that everyone should have some sort of guaranteed basic health service at an affordable price without putting people at risk of falling into poverty by having to deal with health expenditures.  The path to universal health coverage is different for each country and there is no single recipe.  Countries face a number of political and financial difficulties and must move towards a global health governance framework that recognizes international responsibilities from a human rights perspective.

Parliamentarians from the Americas promoting social justice for all.


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