Political Declaration for UN High Level Meeting on NCDs to be signed by governments next week

The Final Draft of the Political Declaration, that will be adopted by Member States at the third United Nations High Level Meeting (UN HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), is now available

20 September 2018

The UN HLM provides a vital opportunity to ensure increased political commitment to prevent cancer and other NCDs. After months of negotiation, the final text of the Political Declaration that will be adopted by Member States next week at the UN Headquarters in New York is now available to read.

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International commends the Final Draft Political Declaration for acknowledging and calling for:

  • Heads of state and government to commit to providing political leadership for the NCD response.
  • Scaling up implementation of the commitments made in 2011, 2014 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
  • Engagement of civil society and people living with and affected by NCDs in the NCD response.
  • Recognition that social, economic and environmental determinants, as well as commercial and market factors, affect the risk factors for NCDs.
  • Recognising potential conflicts of interest when partnering with the private sector and calls upon governments to manage them.

However, we feel that significant weaknesses exist in the Political Declaration, including:

  • A failure to recognise the lack of progress towards meeting the global NCD commitments and to hold governments accountable for that failure.
  • No mention of accountability mechanisms to be put in place to measure future performance.
  • Weak language on fiscal measures and no recognition of price and taxation as effective public health policies.
  • The lack of recognition that food environments influence personal choice and that upstream policy change is needed.
  • A missed opportunity to outline the role and responsibility of the private sector in reaching global NCD targets and the inclusion of safeguard provisions.

We will be attending the UN HLM next week and call for governments to step up their efforts to prevent cancer and other NCDs. This must include addressing the weaknesses in the current Final Draft Political Declaration, such as recognising the importance of price and taxation as effective public health measures.

For more information on implementing an effective sugar-sweetened beverage tax, see our latest policy brief.

Read the statement we made at the interactive hearing in New York on NCDs earlier this year as part of the preparatory process toward the UN HLM.