Driving non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to the top of the global agenda

In September 2011, the United Nations held a High-Level Meeting in New York on the subject of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. This was only the second time in its history that the UN held a summit on a health issue and its aim was to:

  • Increase the political prioritisation of NCDs, which cause two thirds of deaths* globally
  • Recognise the impact of NCDs as not just a health issue, but also as a major economic burden and an obstacle to global development and sustainability

The outcome of the meeting was a Political Declaration (download Acrobat Reader to view) signed by all the UN Member States that now represents the NCD roadmap. The first action step of the Declaration came in May 2012 when the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a global target:

25% reduction in premature mortality from CVD 25% reduction in premature mortality from CVD