Informal briefing in New York: time for action on NCDs

02nd May 2018

The NCD Alliance, together with the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Denmark, Jamaica, the Russian Federation, and WHO, convened on 2 May 2018 an informal briefing on NCDs at UN Headquarters in New York City. The briefing, which took place in a packed room, provided an overview of progress to date, the challenge and opportunities presented by the UN HLM and NCDA's campaign priorities for the outcome document. 

The briefing featured statements from the co-hosts - Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica; Ambassador Frederico Meyer, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil; Ambassador Peter Lehmann Nielsen, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark; Ambassador Sergey Kononuchenko, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation; and Mr Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Executive Director of the WHO Office at the UN. All co-hosts highlighted the importance of the third UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, scheduled for Thursday 27 Sept. at UN Headquarters, as a tipping point to shift from commitment to action.

Ambassador František Ružička, Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the President of the General Assembly, provided an overview of the process for the HLM. This was followed by an update from Ambassador Elbio Rosselli, Permanent Representative of Uruguay and one of the co-facilitators of the HLM on NCDs process. 

In order to provide a strong technical background to the ambitious, action-oriented political outcome document we expect from the HLM, a significant portion of the briefing was a discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by the 2018 UN HLM on NCDs. 

Mr Obermeyer provided global statistics on the burden of NCDs and the need to implement WHO's Best Buys interventions as cost-effective measures that deliver results. Dr Ophira Ginsburg, of NYU Langone Health, spoke on behalf of the Union for International Cancer Control and highlighted how implementation of cost-effective cancer interventions can yield results for people and economies. Dr Ginsburg provided examples of clear wins in the NCD response by addressing cancer, and how action to eliminate cervical cancer is technically feasible: we just need the political will.

Finally, Ms Priya Kanayson, Senior Advocacy Officer of the NCD Alliance, gave a brief overview of the recently concluded WHO Global Dialogue on Partnerships for Sustainable Financing of NCD Prevention and Control and of the recently published series by the The Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and Economics. Ms Kanayson also shared NCDA's six campaign priorities for the outcome of the UN HLM on NCDs, and encouraged all participants to join NCDA's Enough NCDs campaign

The briefing closed with remarks from Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy, on behalf of Italy as a co-facilitator of the HLM process. 

The informal briefing and the presence of many Member States made clear that countries are ready to act on NCDs - the time is now for commitment to turn to action. 

Read the UN summary of the briefing.