The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a political declaration to mobilise accelerated efforts in order to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The text, titled "Time to Deliver: Accelerating our response to address NCDs for the health and well-being of present and future generations", was adopted on Thursday at the General Assembly’s third High-Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of NCDs, reports Xinhua news agency.
It includes commitments to reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs by 2030, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN.
While acknowledging the progress achieved by some countries in controlling four major NCDs — cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases — the text recognised action to realise the commitments were inadequate.
The declaration requested the UN Secretary-General, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other relevant parties, to submit to the General Assembly a report on the progress achieved in its implementation by the end of 2024.
While hailing it as "ambitious and balanced", UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces called for attention to the fact that a huge number of people between the ages of 30 and 70 will die in 2018 because of NCDs.
The poorest will likely suffer the most from illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which more broadly lead to annual GDP losses of up to 6 per cent, she added.
Also present at the meeting were UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, on behalf of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.>