The issue of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) is a major growing challenge to development. With this notion in mind, delegates from all over the world discussed how far the UN has come in the battle against NCDs and collaborated on effective solutions for stakeholders to help accelerate the process. The September 2011 Declaration for NCDs was frequently mentioned as member states highlighted that, although progress has been made, more action needs to occur. A shared sense of urgency and motivation was evident throughout the General Assembly as delegates reaffirmed the severity of the problem at hand.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Health Organization Director General Dr. Margaret Chan emphasized the necessity of uniting stakeholders from every level and tailoring an agreement to account for all member states’ needs. The UN as a whole must incorporate the issue of NCDs as a major priority while encouraging commitment from state and non-state sectors and accounting for the poorer nations that have been hit hardest by the NCD epidemic. Private sectors can play a significant role by refraining from promotion of unhealthy foods and substances while marketing healthier products, because obesity has been worsening over the past three decades. Not only do governments need to implement stronger prevention policies, there must be sweeping changes in the mindset of public health. Analyzing our current generation, Dr. Chan noted that as incomes rise and standard of living improves, the rise of NCDs occurs because unhealthy lifestyles are being promoted during the process.
Representatives of health departments from nations including Bolivia, Columbia, Jamaica, Mexico, Mongolia and Argentina discussed the progress their countries have seen after the implementation of the 2011 declaration. They have also expressed their continued commitment to the battle against NCDs. This morning session on NCDs set the stage for further debate and inquiry regarding a unified plan for prevention.
Meeting Title: General Assembly Meeting on Non Communicable Diseases (Morning Session)
Location: General Assembly Overflow Room (NLB 4), United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 10 July 2014
Summary Written By WIT Representative: Suzy Hallak