A Historic First: UN NGO conference highlights NCDs

06th September 2010

The final Declaration of the annual United Nations conference for NGOs recognises noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as one of the significant health challenges facing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Declaration from the Conference, agreed by 1,600 participants representing over 350 NGOs from more than 70 countries, also called on governments to “respect and implement” international health agreements such as the FCTC.

The Declaration is important recognition of the impact that NCDs have on global public health. Including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive lung disease, NCDs are responsible for more than 35 million deaths each year worldwide, with 80% in low- and middle-income countries.

Up to 4/5 of these deaths could be prevented by attention to key risk factors, the single most important of which is tobacco use. “When Heads of State from around the world meet in New York at the MDG Review Summit, they will receive this important resolution, which is a clear message from civil society that governments must act to prevent and control NCDs," said Professor Rob Moodie, Chair of Australia's National Preventative Taskforce and one of the lead organisers of the Conference.

"One of the keys to this, which was also recognised by civil society, is the full implementation of the FCTC,” he added.

Source: Framework Convention Alliance

More information on the conference and a copy of the final declaration can be found at www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/conference/