Success Stories

Global Advocacy Wins

There are just over 8 million cancer deaths every year. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

When the Millennium Development Goals were adopted in 2000, setting the political and funding priorities for global development efforts for the following 15 years, cancer and other NCDs were notoriously absent.

Global Advocacy Wins

Over the last 7 years, UICC has united the cancer community to position cancer on the global health and development agenda:

  • In 2009 UICC co-founded the NCD Alliance which quickly saw its first success, securing a UN High Level Meeting on NCDs that resulted in a Political Declaration, recognising NCDs for the first time as a development issue.
  • Today the NCD Alliance is the leading civil society voice for NCDs, uniting almost 2,000 organisations in 170 countries.
  • A new global framework for NCDs has since emerged (See figure 1), that includes cancer-specific targets, actions and indicators across the care continuum. In particular UICC was able to emphasise the importance of both the health promotional and disease management aspects of chronic diseases, and advocated strongly for global targets on the health systems response to NCDs.
  • Since 2014, the World Health Assembly has adopted a series of new resolutions that are highly relevant for cancer and NCDs more broadly, including palliative care, access to surgery and anaesthesia, essential medicines, patient-centred primary care and the life course and aging agenda.
  • In 2015, a number of important publications were launched that make the case for returns on investment in cancer control, and support delivery of the global target of 80 percent availability of essential NCD medicines and technologies including the updated WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, and the Lancet Oncology Commissions on Radiotherapy and Global Cancer Surgery.  
  • In the same year, the UN General Assembly recognised NCDs as a critical development issue, including it in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. This success was the culmination of a six-year NCD Alliance campaign that UICC championed from the start.