2011 UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases

Historical United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases

The UN General Assembly held a UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in September 2011 in New York. The High-Level Meeting focused on agreeing a global strategy for the four most prominent Non-Communicable Diseases, namely, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. The High-Level Meeting resulted in a UN Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases.

Historical United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases 2

The European Union issued a European Parliament Resolution calling for the EU and its Member States to actively implement the UN Political Declaration.

The World Health Organization was charged to develop a plan to implement the UN Political Declaration and to present it for adoption by WHO Member States at the World Health Assembly.

During the 65th World Health Assembly in May 2012, WHO Member States unanimously agreed to globally reduce preventable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. For cancer, this would mean saving at least 1.5 million lives every year.

During the 66th World Health Assembly in May 2013, WHO Member States unanimously adopted a 3-part omnibus resolution outlining how they planned to achieve this 25% reduction in the global burden of NCDs by 2025. The 3 parts of the omnibus resolution that was approved are:

  1. Adoption of a Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs establishing the goals and targets to be achieved and monitored
  2. Endorsement of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013-2020 outlining the action steps
  3. Agreement to establish a global coordination mechanism to implement the plan at the national level in collaboration with other organizations

The major wins for cancer within the WHO Global NCD Action Plan are:

  • Cancer planning and surveillance
  • Vaccination for HPV and HBV against cervical and liver cancers
  • Early detection and screening for breast, cervical, oral and colorectal cancers, linked to timely treatment
  • Access to essential medicines and technologies
  • Palliative care policies

As an organization in ‘official relations’ status with the WHO, ESMO had the privilege to make an official statement at the 66th World Health Assembly in May 2013 on the WHO Global NCD Action Plan.

The ESMO 2013 World Health Assembly Statement on the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Welcomed efforts for cancer prevention, but emphasized the need to address the entire spectrum of cancer care and to provide cancer patients with adequate palliative care and pain relief
  • Was supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and the Pain and Policy Study Group (PPSG) of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Was delivered by the ESMO National Representatives to almost every European country’s Ministry of Health
  • Complimented the NCD Alliance 2013 World Health Assembly Statement which focused on accountability of WHO Member States to achieve the goal of a 25% mortality reduction in NCDs by 2025, as well as the need to include all government and societal sectors in the plan’s implementation phase
  • Supported the European School of Oncology 2013 World Oncology Forum Statement which stresses the need to ensure that every cancer patient has access to a package of indispensible diagnostics, curative, and palliative care therapies delivered according to the resources in their local settings by trained professionals

ESMO congratulates governments on the adoption of the WHO Global NCD Omnibus Resolution and is offering its support and expertise to the WHO to assist governments in translating these political commitments into practical actions at the national level.

For more information about what you, your institute, organization or society can do, please visit the NCD Alliance website, the Advocacy Section of the UICC website and sign the UICC World Cancer Declaration.