World Cancer Declaration

The World Cancer Declaration calls upon government leaders and policymakers to significantly reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity in the access to cancer services, and integrate cancer control into the global health and development agenda. 

Woman looking at country profile at the 2016 World Cancer Congress

The World Cancer Declaration was launched under the leadership of UICC at the World Cancer Congress in Washington, 2006. It was further refined and adopted at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summits in Geneva, 2008, and again in 2013 to align it with the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (2013-2020).

The Declaration provides governments, UN agencies, civil society, relevant private sector and other key stakeholders with a shared vision on which to build collaborative partnerships to address the global cancer burden. 

Download the PDF of the World Cancer Declaration 2013. Find out more about the Declaration, by reading the World Cancer Declaration 2013 Backgrounder (or read it online below).

Nine targets of the declaration

The declaration sets out nine targets to be achieved by 2025 with the overarching goal of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer and improving quality of life and cancer survival rates. The targets are aligned with the global ambition of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025 and set out priorities for cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care to achieve this mortality reduction in every country.

Overarching Goal:

There will be major reductions in premature deaths from cancer, and improvements in quality of life and cancer survival rates.

Progress made

In 2016, UICC members across 113 countries worked collectively to create the World Cancer Declaration Progress Report. This provided a unique civil society perspective on national cancer control successes and the challenges that remained to achieve the Declaration targets.

On 30 May 2017, health leaders from across the world reaffirmed cancer control as a critical health and development priority as they adopted the 2017 cancer resolution (link to our page on the resolution), entitled “Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach (link is external)” at the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. 

In 2019, UN Member States met in New York to adopt the political declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the first such commitment. The declaration sets out a high-level political framework for advancing UHC as part of the Sustainable Development Agenda. 

UICC took the opportunity to help secure political commitments that prioritise UHC in national agendas and to advocate for the inclusion of cancer services. 

In the Comment “The World Cancer Declaration: time to consolidate wins and work towards 2025”, published in February 2021 in The Lancet Oncology, a group of leading cancer experts led by Dr Sonali Johnson, Head of Knowledge, Advocacy and Policy at UICC, confirms that, overall, the global community has made measurable progress towards achieving several targets outlined in the World Cancer Declaration. Several important areas such as prevention, early detection and treatment show mixed results, while challenges remain particularly in providing equal access to quality care to all populations. 

How can cancer advocates use the World Cancer Declaration?

The World Cancer Declaration provides a framework for cancer advocates to open and maintain the dialogue with their governments about the need to step up their response to the national cancer and NCD burden. 

Key World Cancer Declaration resources

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Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
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People shaking hands at the World Cancer Congress 2022

Political will and a national strategy that prioritises targeted investments in cancer control as well as action at the international level can reduce the global cancer burden. 

© UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

On 30 May 2017, health leaders from across the world reaffirmed cancer control as a critical health and development priority as they adopted the 2017 cancer resolution, entitled “Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach at the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. 

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Last update

Friday 03 March 2023

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