Momentum gathers at Global NCD Alliance Forum for the High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018

The Global NCD Alliance (NCDA) Forum concluded today with a consensus from all to step up the pace and be more united if the 2018 High-level Meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is to fulfil its potential.

The NCDA presented its advocacy campaign priorities for the HLM, and highlighted the urgent need to increase pressure at the highest level to ensure the HLM receives the attention from governments it needs. NCDA CEO Katie Dain emphasized that NCDs cannot be siloed within health ministers, this needed to ba a ‘Whole-of-government, whole-of-society’ issued.

Dr Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives said:

“There is no time for debating while 10 million people are dying, Countries need to take action now to start saving lives….Leadership is what will make all the difference.”

Making final remarks at the Closing Ceremony, José Luis Castro, Executive Director of The Union and President of NCDA, said:

“A unified and energised NCD civil society network is necessary for a successful third United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018. This is our opportunity to call on governments to renew existing commitments to address the burden of NCDs, and to ensure political commitments and attention at the highest level.”

Those addressing the forum over the three days included His Royal Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena; Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President-Elect, Union for International Cancer Control; and Dr Sania Nishtar, co-chair of the WHO High-level Commission on NCDs.

The NCD epidemic is responsible for 70 per cent of deaths worldwide, of which nearly three-quarters occur in developing countries. NCDs are being driven by poverty, globalisation of marketing and trade of health-harming products, rapid urbanisation and population growth.

Fewer than half of all countries have created national plans to fight NCDs, which are the foundational building blocks of any national response.  And current trends show that many countries are not on course to meet the global “25x25” NCD targets to reduce premature and avoidable deaths.

Highlights of the Forum included the launch of NCDA’s campaign priorities for the 2018 UNHLM, the unveiling of the Advocacy Agenda for People living with NCDs (PLWNCDs), and the release of National and Regional NCD Alliances in Action: An Atlas of Civil Society Initiatives.

The Atlas showcases 38 case studies of how national and regional NCD alliances have advanced the NCD agenda in their countries or regions.

The Sharjah Awards for Excellence in NCD Civil Society Action were given for the first time as a way to recognise the amazing work done by regional and national NCD alliances.