The Sustainable Development Goals commitment from United Nations member states to deliver worldwide universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 is threatened by a combination of the economic downturn in middle-income countries and the rise of non-communicable diseases.

Improving health surveillance and global health systems are vital, and issues in the spotlight include global health financing, biosecurity and data sharing across national borders to prevent the spread of disease, especially relevant in 2020 with the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile the World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to streamline its complex structure, governance and financing to become more efficient. But critics say progress has been slow, especially in its emergency responses to the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, and pressure for change is building.