© LWR : Jake Lyell Geeta Devi, Sumitra Devi and Mina Devi are farmers in the Banka District of Bihar, one of the poorest districts in India.

NCDs in the 2030 Agenda

In September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

For the first time, NCDs are included in these goals as a sustainable development priority for all countries. This marks the culmination of a six-year campaign initiated in 2009. Being one of its four initial strategic goals the NCD Alliance worked tirelessly with many partners and stakeholders to secure the inclusion of NCDs in the successor goals to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Officially titled Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the commitment offers much promise in terms of improving the health of all people around the world. 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets adopted in September 2015 will drive efforts to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, improve health and wellbeing, and protect our planet over the next fifteen years.
Health is recognised as a precondition for and an outcome of sustainable human development in the 2030 Agenda. One of the 17 SDGs focuses on health (SDG3), committing governments to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
Underneath this goal, 9 targets form a roadmap to deliver on a range of global health priorities including maternal and child health, communicable diseases, and NCDs underpinned by the ambition to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).

Three of the nine health targets focus on NCD-related issues;

  • Target 3.4 is to “reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing”, which builds on the World Health Organization (WHO) “25x25” NCD target;
  • Target 3.5 focuses on the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including harmful use of alcohol; and
  • Target 3.6 sets out to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents. 
The prioritisation of NCDs in the 2030 Agenda marked the culmination of a six year campaign led by the NCD Alliance to secure NCDs in the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). NCDs and the major risk factors are linked with many of the other SDGs, including poverty, nutrition, gender equality, education, inequality, energy, urbanisation and climate change. 
The adoption of the SDGs marks an important shift from development for the poorest countries to sustainable development for all.
“Never before have world leaders pledged common action across such a broad and universal policy agenda, focusing on both the unfinished business of the MDGs, plus new global challenges such as NCDs, climate change, peace and security, and inequality.” 

Ms Johanna Ralston, Vice-Chair of the NCD Alliance and CEO of the World Heart Federation

The means of implementation targets help guide countries make progress, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) provides a framework to catalyse investment in the SDGs.
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is one of four means of implementation targets for SDG3, together with improving access to essential medicines and vaccines, strengthening the health workforce, and managing health risk.
“The adoption of the 2030 Agenda marks a momentous achievement for the NCD community; It is a time when we can be more optimistic about the future of prevention and control of NCDs than perhaps at any stage of recent history. As we celebrate the new Agenda we also encourage immediate action to realise the ambitious SDGs by their 2030 end-date.” Katie Dain, Executive Director, NCD Alliance