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ESMO Promotes the Prioritisation of Optimal Cancer Care in the UN 2030 Agenda

Optimal cancer care for all must be prioritised to secure the delivery of the UN’s sustainable development goals
15 May 2024

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) is working with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to prioritise cancer care and ensure equitable access to optimal cancer treatment for all. With its special consultative status at ECOSOC, ESMO continues to work to address critical healthcare challenges on the global stage. In its written individual statement for the 2024 ECOSOC High-Level Segment (HLS), the Society emphasised the urgent need to prioritise cancer prevention and care to help achieve the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Importantly, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report 2023 highlighted minimal or no progress, since 2015, in components of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) related to Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), health service capacity and access to treatment. In response, ESMO urged the UN member states to expedite necessary actions to deliver equitable, sustainable, resilient, and innovative healthcare services for all.

ESMO’s key policy recommendations include:

  • Advancing the implementation of the political declaration on UHC to ensure entire populations’ benefit packages are proportionate to the size of the cancer burden in their country.
  • Ensuring alignment between the 2023 UN Political declaration on Pandemics, the International Health Regulations, and the Pandemic Agreement to integrate sustainable cancer care services into health emergencies preparedness and response planning.
  • Aligning national air quality standards with the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommendations, in order to help significantly reduce the incidence of lung and breast cancers.
  • Optimising the oncology workforce through the implementation of policies to improve education, training and retention.

ESMO’s engagement with ECOSOC underscores the society’s commitment to improving global healthcare. By presenting its policy recommendations ahead of the 2024 ECOSOC HLS, ESMO will highlight its call for the provision of continued, high-quality cancer care accessible to all.

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