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UN Takes ‘Momentous Step’ Toward Preventing Cancer, Heart Disease and Other Noncommunicable Diseases Throughout World

May 28, 2013

statement by Mary A. Pittman, president and Ceo, Public health institute

“The United Nations World Health Assembly took the momentous step yesterday of unanimously adopting an omnibus resolution concerning noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).  This decision, which had its roots in the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs held in September 2011, is an essential step toward preventing most of the world’s NCDs – such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease – and reducing the burden from those that do occur.

 “The omnibus resolution contains three elements: a set of nine goals and 25 targets on NCDs, a global NCD action plan outlining roles and responsibilities for different ‘actors’ in the NCD arena, and a roadmap to develop a global coordination mechanism for NCDs to keep track of progress and programs.

 “The Public Health Institute applauds the world body for taking this step.  While much important work lies ahead, the global consensus around NCDs as a major threat to human health, productivity and development is now firmly established as a result of this action.  Going forward, governments, funders, and civil society all share a framework through which to address these urgent and unmet issues.”