UN General Assembly Adopts High-Level Political Declaration On Noncommunicable Diseases

NEW YORK — The United Nations General Assembly is meeting today for the Third High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases, and has adopted an ambitious political declaration, entitled, “Time to Deliver: Accelerating our response to address NCDs for the health and well-being of present and future generations.”

At the start of the meeting, the General Assembly adopted the NCD political declaration by acclamation, with no member state objecting. The political declaration includes commitments to reduce NCD mortality by one-third by 2030, and to scale-up funding and multi-stakeholder responses to treat and prevent NCDs.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés of Ecuador, the president of the UN General Assembly, then explained that the high-level meeting today will make a “comprehensive review on the overall theme of scaling up multi-stakeholder responses and prevention of NCDS.”

“What we need now is political will,” she said, because “ambitious goals require far-reaching measures.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Dr Tedros), director general of the World Health Organization, then spoke on the heavy toll resulting from NCDs, with 41 million people dying prematurely every year from these diseases. He clarified that “these are preventable deaths.”

Bloomberg to Continue as WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs

Dr Tedros announced that earlier today Michael Bloomberg, WHO global ambassador for NCDs and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, accepted a request to continue in his role as WHO global ambassador for NCDs for another 2 years.

In closing, Dr. Tedros urged world leaders to take action to address the global NCD epidemic, by maintaining political commitment, increasing domestic investment, and pursuing universal health coverage.

He then asked those world leaders present in the room to stand up if they, or a loved one, is affected by NCDs, such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness or diabetes. After listing these NCDs, every member of the General Assembly was standing.

[Note: this article will be updated with more information from the High-Level Meeting soon.]


Image Credits: David Branigan.

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