Countdown towards the global elimination of Cervical Cancer

Towards the global elimination of Cervical Cancer
27 August 2019

Cervical cancer remains one of the most common causes of death for women. Each year, more than 300 000 women die of cervical cancer.  More than half a million women are diagnosed. At the same time, it is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer.

UICC fully supports WHO's call for action

It requires however, a comprehensive national strategy with a three-pronged comprehensive approach i) HPV vaccination, ii) screening and early treatment of pre-cancerous lesions and iii) prompt referral for treatment and palliative care of invasive cervical cancer.  UICC fully supports the World Health Organization in its ambition to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem globally. 

The process is well underway since Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization announced a global call to action towards the elimination of cervical cancer in May 2018.

In January 2019, the WHO Executive Board requested the Director-General to develop a global strategy to accelerate cervical cancer elimination, with clear targets for the period 2020–2030.

The first draft of this strategy was created through a number of meetings with Member States representatives and technical experts; it formed the basis of consultations with WHO Regions, Member States, technical experts and other partners in the period May-July 2019. The results of this global dialogue feed into the continuous development of the draft.  Governments (Member States of WHO) will look to adopt the final version in May 2020. It is planned that the World Health Assembly supports the adoption through a resolution.

“We look forward to the adoption of the WHO global strategy. It is a very important step in the global fight against the growing cancer burden. We know however, that only national action can truly protect girls and save women’s lives. Public commitments from Heads of State will hopefully spur implementation towards achieving the 2030 targets.”
Dr Julie Torode, UICC – Director of Special Projects 

Upcoming events and how you can get involved

August – October 2019 
WHO regional committees will discuss the draft between August and October 2019. Cancer community members who will attend these meetings should consider a supporting statement for the agenda item of cervical cancer. 

The scheduled formal meetings are also a good opportunity to raise the topic of cervical cancer elimination and the timelines until the adoption of the strategy with counterparts in the national governments. It is important to ensure the ambition to eliminate cervical cancer secures national commitments at the highest levels. Ideally, Heads of States make a public pledge at the regional committee or in the lead up to and at the World Health Assembly launch of the strategy.

September 2019
UICC will ask its member organizations to contribute to a mapping of the status of cervical cancer services in their countries. If you wish to be a rapporteur, please send your expression of interest to Julie Torode at

WHO will update member states about the drafting process in an informal briefing on the 9th September in Geneva – cancer community members should encourage their countries to participate through their respective mission in Geneva.

UICC members who will be in New York for the High-Level Meeting and the UN General Assembly are invited to join UICC President Princess Dina Mired, for a luncheon and roundtable discussion  on cervical cancer elimination at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge. The luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 12:30-2pm at 132 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001, USA. Register with

January 2020
The WHO Executive Board will discuss a summary of the draft strategy in January 2020 – a key step towards the adoption of the final version in May. The first academic paper, presenting the modelling of elimination over time, is anticipated to be published in support of the global strategy in January.

Cancer community members could again use the occasion to ask for a meeting with their government representatives and to ensure support for the resolution. It would be another opportunity to suggest a public national commitment.

February 2020
UICC is planning to include messages on cervical cancer elimination under the World Cancer Day ‘I am, I will’ umbrella. UICC members who wish to participate in a brainstorming session can contact Julie Torode at

Last update: 
Wednesday 28 August 2019