Reflecting on UNITE’s “Diálogos de la Pospandemia” Series: Strengthening Latin American Healthcare Through Legislative Experience Sharing

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the imperative for international collaboration and innovative strategies to address healthcare challenges and reach the UN SDGs in 2030 has never been more apparent. Throughout 2023, the UNITE Chapter for Latin America and the Caribbean launched a series of events titled “Diálogos de la Pospandemia” (Post-pandemic Talks) aimed at redefining priorities and strategies for the region.

"From the beginning it was our idea to work towards a stronger and more connected regional network. It was important for us to get to know each other, to talk to each other. The Post-Pandemic Dialogues created a place where we would meet on a regular basis, to discuss common issues and concerns. The dialogue between different countries added the necessary regional perspective to improve the legislation considering diverse national experiences."

- Hon. Gisela Scaglia, UNITE’s Chapter Chair for Latin America and the Caribbean

These dialogues convened policymakers and their staff to rethink legislative approaches and foster collaboration in areas crucial for the region.

The series of dialogues addressed pressing questions pertinent to Latin America’s post-pandemic reality. From reimagining mental health legislation to reevaluating drug policies and exploring global public investment in healthcare, each session delved into critical issues with the aim of fostering collective solutions. Additionally, discussions centered on the digital transformation of healthcare and the imperative of prioritizing infectious disease control, including the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS.

The discussions were enriched by the participation of experts, from partnerships with the GPI Network, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Harm Reduction International. Additionally, UNITE’s Drug Policy Desk and Digital Health Hub provided assistance and insigths into topics relating to digital health and harm reduction.

"The Post-Pandemic Dialogues offered a unique platform within the Network for our Members to candidly share their experiences, expertise, but also the challenges they face in addressing certain issues affecting their communities. This has allowed for enriching discussions that informed not only the work of other members of the network, but also enabled the Secretariat to further tailor the technical support we seek to provide to our Members, including being able to connect with experts and civil society colleagues to share new research that could directly feed into the policymaking work of Parliamentarians in the most relevant moments."

- Beatrix Vas, Policy Coordinator of UNITE’s Drug Policy Desk

One of the key highlights of the series was the emphasis on legislative experience exchange and the sharing of best practices among participating countries. By leveraging collective expertise and experiences, parliamentarians sought to identify common ground and pave the way for collaborative action. Each session provided a platform for policymakers and their staff to share insights, challenges, and successes, fostering a robust exchange of ideas aimed at driving positive change.

The end of the series coincided with World AIDS Day on December 1st, resonating with the ongoing efforts to combat infectious diseases. The critical role of parliamentary action was underscored in the discussions, in addressing healthcare challenges and championing the rights of affected communities. Moreover, there was a shared commitment to reforming outdated legislation and promoting laws that empower and protect vulnerable populations.

"Why not turning everything upside down? With this series, we wanted to listen to the challenges that our MPs were facing, to listen to their successes and their concerns. We wanted to remove ourselves from the center of the stage and really create a space where they could make their voices heard."

- Ana Kuschnir, Regional Manager for the UNITE's Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter

Looking ahead, the legacy of the “Diálogos de la Pospandemia” series lies in its ability to catalyze meaningful legislative action and foster enduring partnerships. By prioritizing community engagement and amplifying the voices of affected populations, UNITE aims to ensure that healthcare remains a top priority on the legislative agenda across the region. Through continued dialogue and collaboration, and harnessing parliamentarians expertise and insights, UNITE members advocate to drive progress and build a healthier, more resilient Latin America for all.

Building on this success, in 2024 UNITE will expand the format of these talks to all chapters of our network. The ‘Let’s Talk Health’ series is launching in March, starting with discussions on Mental Health in the MENA region, on March 21st, the legislative work on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Latin America, on March 22nd, and Digital Health initiatives in the EECA region, on March 29th.


In summary, the “Diálogos de la Pospandemia” series serves as a testament to the power of collective action in addressing healthcare challenges, and has paved the way for these critical topics to be addressed on a global scale.

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