0230 GMT January 27, 2020
In his message for the international day on Thursday, Guterres recalled that in September, world leaders endorsed a political declaration on universal health coverage, reiterating that health is a human right, Xinhua reported.
He noted that the agreement will drive progress over the next decade on the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and called on leaders to keep the promise and ensure health for all is "a reality for everyone, everywhere."
He pointed out that half of the world's population still lacks access to essential services and 100 million people are driven into extreme poverty every year due to health care costs, saying this is "unacceptable and unjust."
"On our path to health for all, we must prioritize the needs of those most vulnerable and furthest behind, through increased public investment in resilient primary healthcare systems," he said, adding "we must also recognize the increasing burden that pollution and the climate crisis place on health and healthcare systems."
On this international day, he said, "let us reaffirm our commitment to health for all as an investment in humanity, well-being and prosperity for everyone."
On December 12, 2012, the UN General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage.
In 2017, the UN proclaimed December 12 as International Universal Health Coverage Day by another resolution.
The observance of this day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.