The UN General Assembly has voted in favour of a UN Resolution tabled on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states to hold the first ever UN Summit on Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) in September 2011. Over 100 countries, including US, Brazil, Canada, Russia, China, India and the United Kingdom cosponsored the resolution, indicating that NCDs have become a global priority for world leaders and a core development issue on the global agenda.

The NCD Summit will address the threat posed by NCDs to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Bringing together public health experts and government representatives from both LMICs and overseas aid donor countries, it will discuss solutions to the growing danger posed by NCDs and agree what action needs to be taken.

There have only been 28 such summits in UN history, highlighting the significance of the decision and the magnitude of the problem.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Heart Federation (WHF), International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), who together have member associations in more than 170 countries, have been leading global advocacy for the NCD Summit over the last year. In cooperation with other key organizations including the Framework Convention Alliance and the Global Alliance on Chronic Respiratory Diseases, over 1000 national member associations were mobilized during the campaign in order to ensure a high level of support among member states for the Summit.

Actions included:

  • Writing to key countries in leadership positions: Hundreds of letters sent to Heads of State, UN Ambassadors, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Health.
  • Calling upon national organizations to lobby their government: In many countries, including the United States, France, Denmark, Australia and the Netherlands, local NCD member associations have cooperated and developed joint campaigns for raising awareness of the Resolution and securing support.
  • Engaging high level contacts and media from around the world: Support for the summit has been secured through meetings with top UN officials, Ministers, Ambassadors and Former Heads of State. Key media outlets such as CNN, Reuters and the Financial times have also been engaged.