Center for Strategic and International Studies Launches Key Report on UN Summit

23rd February 2011

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has launched a key report on the September 2011 UN NCD Summit.

Based on 109 survey responses from the global health community, authors J. Stephen Morrison, Devi Sridhar & Peter Piot write that 'it is critical both to take account of the special challenges facing the NCD sector and leverage strategically the special political assets that are at hand: notably the UN secretary-general, the WHO director general, and the NCD Alliance'.

They also support the appointment of a high-level UN focal point on the Summit: 'An interim NCD czar, operating under a UN flag, and overtly empowered to lead - would be invaluable." Report Introduction: "The UN General Assembly’s decision to convene a “high-level meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide” in September 2011 creates a major, timely opportunity to elevate chronic diseases onto the global stage.

Just as the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS was a pivotal moment in the global response to AIDS, there is hope that the September session on NCDs can become a historic rallying point. But we need to be realistic. Time to prepare adequately is short. NCDs do not enjoy many of the advantages that helped propel AIDS to become a global priority.

High-level leadership is thus far missing, and the odds are long that the September meeting will have a transformative impact. Important gains are indeed possible in September but only with disciplined pragmatism and urgent, focused action taken to seize the moment.

This report draws on several sources: an online qualitative survey, released to the public as well as to invited select experts, which resulted in 109 detailed responses; nine expert interviews with key leaders in global health; and recent reports on noncommunicable diseases by the Institute of Medicine, The Lancet, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Center for Global Development.

The responses to the survey are available upon request, and we have drawn on these data to identify areas of agreement and challenges ahead."

Source: Download the Report: Publisher CSIS