The Elders

Press release

The Elders launch new initiative on Universal Health Coverage at Women Deliver

The Elders launch a new initiative to promote Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at the Women Deliver conference as part of the organisation’s mission to support equality, social justice and sustainable development.

Universal Health Coverage means that everybody receives the health services they need without financial hardship, and is a goal that all countries are committed to achieving by 2030 following the agreement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Elders’ UHC initiative has four key messages:

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:

“No-one should be denied necessary health services or risk falling into poverty because of medical fees, but this is a reality for hundreds of millions of people across the world. The Elders believe this is unacceptable and unnecessary. Universal Health Coverage is a realistic, achievable aim that all leaders should adopt if they are serious about meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Elders will use their collective experience and convening power to make the case for UHC at the highest political levels, and to listen to and amplify the voice of grassroots activists and health practitioners across the world.

Four Elders are attending the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen where they will expand upon this new initiative to a global audience of women’s rights and equality activists and media representatives: Gro Harlem Brundtland, Hina Jilani, Graça Machel and Mary Robinson.

The Elders will continue to campaign for UHC at the international, regional and country level throughout 2016 and into the following year. Find out more about our new initiative.

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Our work | Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage means everyone receives the health care they need without suffering financial hardship. We believe this is a goal all countries can reach.


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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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