Countdown to HLM on NCDs: advocacy alert!

22nd August 2018

As we near the one-month countdown to the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, we wanted to share some updates with you regarding  preparations for the HLM on NCDs and advocacy opportunities between now and 27 September.

52 Heads of Government and State confirmed!

We have received information that as of Wednesday 29 August, 52 presidents and prime ministers have confirmed they will attend and speak at the plenary segment of the UN HLM on NCDs. This is already more than the 34 Heads that attended the 2011 HLM and a significant improvement from the zero that attended in 2014. See below the current list of Heads that have confirmed to date:

Please note this list is a work in progress as countries continue to notify their missions in NY if a HoS/G is planning to attend the HLM and address the plenary.

Advocacy Opportunity: If your country is not listed in the above chart, please continue your advocacy to have the president or prime minister confirm their attendance at the HLM on NCDs -- this must be communicated to the country’s Mission in New York. There are 42 speaking slots remaining for the plenary session -- these can be taken by Heads of State/Government and/or ministers, depending on the level of attendance at the HLM itself.

Draft Political Declaration

Member States last met on Friday, 27 July to negotiate the text of the draft Political Declaration. At the end of the day’s negotiations, 33 of 34 paragraphs were provisionally agreed pending final agreement of the entire document. The outstanding paragraph is OP20, on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property (TRIPS), with the G77 and the USA continuing to work to find compromise language.

The TRIPS language is the same issue that is causing a delay in agreement of the Political Declaration for the HLM on Tuberculosis, and it is likely that we will see movement on the Political Declaration on NCDs only once language is agreed for TB. At this stage, it is highly unlikely that the language in the Political Declaration will change, other than OP20 on TRIPS.

In our media statement on 8 August, we noted that while there are some positives to the draft, there are significant weaknesses and missed opportunities for governments to commit to the political leadership and action we know is required to address NCDs.

Advocacy Opportunity: Call on HoS/G to view this Declaration as a baseline for action and not the gold standard for which to strive. Encourage those attending the HLM to make commitments and highlight policies and interventions they are implementing in their country to reduce the burden of NCDs.

What’s next?

UNGA calendar of events: Please see the current version of NCDA’s calendar of NCD and health-related side events taking place during UNGA week. If your organisation is hosting an event and would like it to be included in the calendar or if an event is listed incorrectly, please email Mathilde Chiesa

Attending the UN HLM on NCDs?

  • Check with your government if there is a mechanism for civil society to attend as part of the official delegation;
  • Registered to attend the HLM multistakeholder panels? Prepare a two-minute statement in case you are able to speak from the floor;
  • Is your president or prime minister attending? Share language on what their statement should include, such as policies and interventions currently being implemented in their country, or encourage them to announce new commitments and initiatives to address NCDs.

Global Week for Action on NCDs, 3-9 September: Please view the online guide, which provides suggestions on how you can be engage during the Global Week for Action on NCDs to call attention to the UN HLM on NCDs and the need for all countries to ramp up their efforts to reduce the unnecessary suffering and death due to NCDs.