Countries endorse resolution on NCDs at World Health Assembly

27th May 2011

Download the Resolution

Some 47 countries and 16 representatives of intergovernmental and civil society organizations spoke on the resolution on 21 May 2011.

The resolution urges Member States to prepare for the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs and be represented at the heads of state and government level. The resolution called for addressing the NCDs challenge through an action-oriented outcome document.

The resolution also urged the WHO Director-General to work together with the wide range of UN and non-UN stakeholders to address the NCD challenges and highlight the social, economic and financial impacts of the diseases, particularly in developing countries.

NCDs, primarily heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes, are the world's leading killer today, according to the WHO Global status report on noncommunicable diseases. In 2008, 36.1 million people died from such diseases, including 9 million dying prematurely before the age of 60. Some 8 million of these premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

But millions of deaths can be prevented by stronger implementation of measures that exist today. These measures include policies that promote government-wide action against NCDs: stronger anti-tobacco controls and promoting healthier diets, physical activity, and reducing harmful use of alcohol, along with improving people's access to essential health care.

Before the WHA, WHO has collaborated with countries worldwide to stage six regional consultations on NCDs and to prepare for the UN high-level meeting, as well as organizing the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and NCD Control, which was hosted by the Russian Federation in Moscow in late April 2011.