Geneva, 20 May 2013 – Global health and development experts gathered today to call for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, following the opening day of the sixty-sixth World Health Assembly (WHA). Whilst congratulating governments on their commitment to reduce overall mortality from NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025, they warned that this target can only be achieved by ensuring NCD prevention and control is central to the future development agenda.
NCDs – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes – are the most common causes of global death and disability, accounting for 54% of all disability and 63% of deaths worldwide. Rising fastest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and impacting disproportionately on disadvantaged communities, NCDs are threatening sustainable human development.
Discussions at a NCD Alliance event, entitled The World We Want: Health and NCDs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda mark the first time leaders from governments, the United Nations, civil society, and the private sector collectively discussed NCDs in the post-2015 context. The event also served as the launch of the new NCD Alliance report, Healthy Planet, Healthy People – The NCD Alliance’s Vision for Health and NCDs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Since its inception in 2009, the NCD Alliance has been calling for the inclusion of NCDs in the global development agenda. Speaking at an event organised by the NCD Alliance, Dr K. Srinath Reddy, President of the World Heart Federation, said “The omission of NCDs from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has cost us millions of lives through years of inaction. With less than 1,000 days until the current MDGs expire, we have a unique opportunity to shape the framework and health priorities of the successor development agenda. Whatever the final formulation of the post-2015 framework, health must continue to be at the centre and NCDs must not be ignored.”
Mary Gospodarowicz, President of the Union for International Cancer Control, observed, “There can be no doubt that NCDs are now firmly on the global health agenda. The adoption of the UN Political Declaration on NCD Prevention and Control in 2011 was a landmark moment. And now with governments set to agree further commitments on NCDs this week at the 66th World Health Assembly, including the first set of global NCD targets for 2025, we have further confirmation that governments are getting serious about NCDs. Now we need to ensure these political commitments on NCDs and other global health priorities are fully integrated in the post-2015 development agenda”.
“This new NCD Alliance report is an important contribution to the global conversation on health in the post-2015 era” said Sir Michael Hirst, President of the International Diabetes Federation. “The report recommends a post-2015 framework that is founded upon sustainable development with people and best possible health as a foundation. It recognises that post-2015 needs to both safeguard and accelerate progress towards the currently health-related MDGs, as well as address new global health challenges such as NCDs.”
The report provides concrete ideas on goals, indicators and enablers for health in post-2015. As Dr E. Jane Carter, President of The International Union Against TB and Lung Disease said, “Our vision for health in post-2015 includes stand-alone health goals and targets, including the goal to reduce overall mortality of NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025, and reinforces the importance of health-sensitive indicators across other dimensions of the post-2015 framework. The NCD Alliance looks forward to continuing to work closely with governments, WHO and other key partners in global health and development, as the debate intensifies on how best to safeguard and extend progress on sustainable human development in the post-2015 era.”
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About the NCD Alliance
The NCD Alliance (NCDA) is a network of over 2,000 civil society organisations from 170 countries united by our vision for a future free from preventable suffering and death caused NCDs. Our founders are four leading international federations- the Union for International Cancer Control, International Diabetes Federation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and the World Heart Federation. More information can be found on our website: www.ncdalliance.org
The NCD Alliance was founded by