The Interactive Stakeholder Hearing was convened as part of the preparatory process for the UN HLM and brought together representatives from civil society organisations, philanthropic foundations, academia, medical associations, private sector organisations, and broader communities to discuss priorities for the HLM on NCDs.
Discussions were focused around four panels:
The meeting opened with a clear call to action from the President of the General Assembly to scale up what we know is effective to change how NCDs are affecting people globally. Echoing this, James Chau, Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs and Health, argued that NCDs are rooted in inequalities in race, gender, geography and income and we need a response which recognises and responds to this, but that the SDGs give us an opportunity to deliver for patients and their families worldwide.
You can watch the recordings of the discussions here, and a report from the President of the General Assembly is expected shortly. Participants were welcomed to give comments from the floor and you can read statements from the attendees here, if you were unable to deliver your statement please email it through to email@example.com.
Scaling up action on NCD prevention and control
Key themes from the discussion included:
In response, a participant from the Permanent Mission of Egypt raised the importance of improving treatment and care as the missing half of the discussion. He emphasised that access and affordability of NCD treatments meant that many patients struggled and that, while mobilising domestic resources is important, the community also needed to think about the additional funding sources like ODA.
A number of other speakers raised the importance of making sure that NCDs are not forgotten in the development of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the need for Head of State/Government support for the HLM. UICC supported this, arguing that countries should utilise the WHO Best Buys, despite political challenges, as the strongest set of evidence-based and cost-effective measures on NCD prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative care.
NCD Alliance CEO, Katie Dain, kicked off discussions by highlighting three important facts
Building on this the speakers went on to discuss:
Questions and comments from the floor raised the importance of finance to enabling countries to meet their commitment to 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major NCDs in both public and private facilities by 2025. Included in this were calls for a new accountability mechanism for the private sector as the current Political Declaration text is copy and pasted from the 2011 declaration and lacks ambition. Moreover there is need to adopt a human-rights based approach as the fundamental driver for action on NCDs.
Focusing on prevention mechanisms, participants emphasised that the financial burdens of prevention mechanisms, particularly around regulation and taxation, were low and so what was needed was a greater focus on implementation.
As a common theme in NCD discussions, this panel looked at the opportunities and challenges of developing partnerships to support action on NCDs, recognising the:
This session looked particularly at how to create national ownership in order to achieve SDG 3.4.
Governments have different levels and city Mayors have a track record of being able to champion measure for NCDs, particularly around prevention. These actors shouldn’t be forgotten as countries move to implement their national responses.