UN Member States unanimously adopt Modalities Resolution ahead of the UN Summit on NCDs on September 2011

07th January 2011

On 23rd December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a UN Modalities Resolution outlining the length, details and agenda of the UN Summit on Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which will take place on 19–20th September 2011 in New York.

The representative of Trinidad and Tobago, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the consensus adoption of the text underscored recognition of the urgent need for the international community to address the rising incidence and prevalence of those diseases.

The terms of the resolution are viewed as a great success by the NCD Alliance and its partners, which led a global campaign during the UN negotiation process requesting Member States to agree to an action-oriented outcomes document at the close of the Summit; a Summit length of at least two days: and strong participation of civil society in the Summit, as well as the consultations leading up to it.

These points were adopted in the final Modalities Resolution, which calls for:

• Member States to adopt a concise action-oriented outcome document at the close of the Summit;

• A two-day Summit on 19-20th September 2011;

• A call for all UN Member States to be represented at the Summit by Heads of State or Heads of Government;

• The President of the General Assembly to organize interactive civil society consultations prior to June 2011 which will input into the Summit Outcomes Document.

• A representative of civil society to address the Summit during the opening session; and

• Member States to include civil society in their national delegations to the Summit.

• Three thematic roundtable sessions to be held during the Summit:

1. The rising incidence, developmental and other challenges and the social and economic impact of NCDs and their risk factors;

2. Strengthening national capacities, as well as appropriate policies, to address prevention and control of non-communicable diseases;

3. Fostering international cooperation, as well as coordination, to address non-communicable diseases.

“The Modalities Resolution is a major success for the NCD community and sets a strong foundation for a Summit that results in measurable and concrete outcomes” said Ann Keeling, Chair of the NCD Alliance Steering Group and CEO of the International Diabetes Federation. “The NCD Alliance and its partners would like to thank the hundreds of NCD organizations across the globe that campaigned for this resolution.

Our efforts have had a major impact on negotiations and by working together we have ensured that civil society will have a central role in the Summit. The NCD Alliance will play an active role in the consultations leading up to the Summit and will lobby for civil society involvement in all key discussions and negotiations”.

The NCD Alliance UN Summit Partners Group, which includes the International Diabetes Federation, Union for International Cancer Control, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, World Heart Federation, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Framework Convention Alliance and Livestrong, issued a series of global calls to action in the lead up to the resolution’s adoption.

The campaign included:

• Letters and meetings with key countries: National NCD organizations across the globe sent letters to Heads of State, UN Ambassadors, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Health, which resulted in strong government engagement in the UN negotiations and growing support for civil society involvement in the Summit.

• National organizations working together: In many countries, including the United States, Norway, UK and others, NCD associations worked together to campaign for a strong Modalities Resolution.

• Engaging Media: Key media outlets, such as CNN, have been engaged which raised awareness and mobilized support for the Modalities Resolution.

• Strong government awareness of the need for action: As a result of strong national lobbying in advance of the Modalities Resolution, government departments are increasingly mobilizing and working together at a cross-government level to catalyze action on NCDs.

The UN Summit is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put NCDs on the global agenda. It has the potential to secure commitment from Heads of Government for a coordinated global response to NCDs, substantially increase resources for NCDs and save millions from premature death and debilitating health complications.

For the full version of the Modalities Resolution adopted by UN member states on 23rd December 2011, please click here.

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