NEWS RELEASE September 22, 2011 CONTACT: Tina Flores, Global Health Council firstname.lastname@example.org or 202‐833‐5900 ext. 3246
UN Political Declaration on NCDs Marks a Turning Point for Global Health NEW YORK – On Monday Member States of the United Nations (UN) ratified a political declaration calling for global, national, and local measures to combat the growing epidemic of non‐communicable diseases (NCDs), particular cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung diseases. “The Global Health Council commends the UN and Member States for calling for a High Level Meeting to address what the Political Declaration describes as one of the greatest health and development challenges of the 21st century,” said Smita Baruah, Interim Co‐CEO of the Global Health Council. NCDs claim 36 million lives each year, with 80 percent of these occurring in low‐ and middle‐income countries. These same countries also face cumulative economic losses of more than $7 trillion between now and 2025. “This meeting has put NCDs on the global agenda and marks an important turning point for global health. NCDs are the largest killer globally and require a global response,” said Baruah. Ten years ago the UN convened a similar meeting on HIV/AIDS that set in motion the political attention and investments driving its current response. “The Political Declaration lays an essential foundation for NCDs. Member States have committed to important time‐bound first steps, such as establishing or strengthening national NCD policies by 2013 that will provide the necessary framework to guide a coordinated response across governments,” Baruah explained. The Political Declaration outlines several commitments for Member States, the UN, the World Health Organization, and civil society, including the private sector. By 2012 WHO is tasked with establishing a global monitoring framework to track the epidemic, as well as a set of global targets. “The absence of time‐bound global targets presents real challenges, especially to mobilize resources, monitor progress and hold governments accountable,” said Baruah. “This must be our priority during the coming year,” Baruah continued.
The General Assembly will next take up the issue of NCDs next year, as stipulated by the Political Declaration, where the Secretary General must submit options for strengthening action among all sectors and convene a follow‐up review in 2014 to report on progress made. “The Political Declaration certainly does not include everything, but it serves as a solid foundation to build from and promote future action.
# # # The Global Health Council is the world’s largest membership alliance of public health organizations and professionals dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. The Council’s members work in more than 150 countries on six continents.