World Health Organization Sets June 10 Deadline for Input on NCDs

In the run up to the UN High Level Session on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) planned for September 19-20, 2011, the United Nations is convening a civil society interactive hearing session on June 16, 2011 in New York.  The June session is to allow for input from all kinds of civil society -- businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations and individuals -- that can be incorporated into the final outcome document at the September session.  Registration for the June meeting has been closed for about six weeks, and those organizations and individuals who have been given access have already been notified.

However, the United Nations has just announced a different mechanism for interested parties to provide input.  Those who wish can provide written comments by June 10 through an online mechanism. The Word Health Organization (WHO), which is in part coordinating the June and September events and plans to summarize the written input, notes that submissions would be most helpful if they dealt with the three themes of the June 16 meeting: 

  • The specific contribution of civil society in NCD prevention and control and how this can be most effective
  • Lessons learned from the success of civil society and previous social mobilization efforts to address health and development challenges
  • Specific outcomes that could be recommended for inclusion in the outcomes document being developed for the September high-level meeting on NCDs.

Many organizations and individuals are already providing input directly to governments in advance of the historic September session. However, others may wish to avail themselves of this new way to provide written input for the UN process. Some will no doubt take the opportunity to try to advocate on topics not dealt with sufficiently or at all in recent UN and WHO summary documents on NCDs from the Moscow NCD Ministerial and the World Health Assembly:

  • Committing to working on the social determinants of health and NCDs
  • Outlining responsibilities for UN Agencies other than WHO on NCD issues, including poverty reduction
  • Clarifying the connections between climate change and incidence of NCDs 
  • Stressing women's and children's issues in NCD surveillance, prevention, treatment and care
  • Creating national budgets to deal with NCDs
  • Developing innovative financing mechanisms for funding NCD-related research and programming
  • Emphasizing health literacy related to NCD prevention
  • Placing NCDs within the framework of Millennium Development Goals, particularly after 2015
  • Including references to NCDs such as mental health, disabilities, birth defects, and injuries

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Comment by Jeff Meer on June 15, 2011 at 10:24am

On June 10, the Public Health Institute submitted a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon concerning non communicable diseases (NCDS).  The letter highlighted three aspects of the issue that have received scant attention so far:

  • How NCDs affect women
  • How NCDs affect children and adolescents, and
  • How global climate change is exacerbating NCDs.

The Public Health Institute has signficant expertise in all three of these areas, which the organization hopes will be taken into account by government delegates as they begin to draft an outcomes document for the upcoming UN High Level Meeting.

Comment by Amy Eussen on June 2, 2011 at 2:49pm
Fabulous overview thanks Jeff! This will be really useful to @NCDChild and all members of civil society wanting to make sure that their voices are heard at the upcoming Civil Society meeting at the UN on 16 June 2011. Looking forward to future blogs about the importance of discussions about children and NCDs - it's hard to believe they have been left out of some key documents. Let's make sure this does not happen with any Outcome document or Resolution adopted at the UN Summit on NCDs!

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