UN Report highlights NCDs as key barrier to achieving Millennium Development Goals

29th July 2010

The NCD Alliance welcomes a consultation report released by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) summarizing the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The report, which compiles civil society’s views on subjects relating to the achievement of the MDGs, will prove to be a valuable resource leading up to the MDG Summit. The MDGs and the Secretary-General’s MDG Progress Report currently do not contain any text addressing the issue of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in relation to the achievement of the MDGs.

According to the NGLS Global Civil Society Consultation Report, NCDs “severely limit the resources of health systems and as such have an impact on the implementation of MDGs 4, 5, and 6 as well as on poverty in general (MDG 1)”.

The report continues to read: “If the mission of the MDGs is to reduce rather than sustain poverty in low- to middle-income countries, programmes designed to achieve health MDGs must address all the major diseases that can trap households in vicious cycles of illness and destitution, not just HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, but also NCDs such as cancer, coronary heart diseases, diabetes or respiratory diseases.”

The 2015 deadline for successfully achieving the MDGs is rapidly approaching. Although noticeable progress has been made towards this goal, the global community is not on track to reach the goals by 2015.

It is for this reason that a civil society consultation report is important to the MDG summit and also in getting NCDs on the global agenda. With the combined research and knowledge of over 160 organizations who responded to the consultation, the report brings a vast amount of insight into what is hindering progress towards the 2015 goal of ending poverty and attaining the MDGs.

Civil society has stressed that a holistic approach, in which civil society organizations work together with the private sector and the UN, is the best way to achieve the 2015 goals. NCDs are factors in almost every MDG.

They affect health and population dynamics and are also barriers to economic development. By convening with civil society, the UN-NGLS has produced a report which outlines the importance of civil society working together to formulate strategies for an integrated approach to the MDGs and the central role that NCDs play in the realization of the MDGs.

The official report can be found at: UN-NGLS MDG Consultation Report 2010