NCD Campaign Letter

Outcomes zero draft document (Please click image)
Priority%20Language%20for%20the%20Outcomes%20Document%2C%204%20July%202011.pdf

Dear Colleague,

The future of cancer control in developing countries will be settled at the Heads of State and Government High level Meeting on NCDs during the UN General Assembly in New York (19-20 September). After over ten years exclusion from the Development agenda, and between 45 to 50 million deaths from cancer, this is the opportunity for cancer patients and health care professionals in low and middle income countries to begin get the recognition (and resources) they deserve.

As with most UN meetings 95% of the outcome of the meeting is already scripted before the meetings begins. It is this pre-Session period that sees the most intensive lobbying and negotiations.

The initial draft of the Outcomes Document (known as the Zero Draft) has been made publicly available at: http://www.who.int/nmh/events/2011/hlm_document/en/index.html. Negotiations started this week in New York and capitals around the world to alter the language of the Outcomes Document. Ministries of Foreign Affairs are particularly involved in this process.

The view of the NCD Alliance is that while the Zero Draft has some good points (it links NCDs with Development and poverty issues; emphasises the need for whole of government approaches and inter-sectoral action; cost-effective population wide interventions; access to medicines and technologies; and the need for increased resources) it has too few teeth to effect real change.

There is no mention of future Development Goals that would include action on NCDs; there is a lack of meaningful targets for countries to achieve, no proposal for an United Nations mechanism to oversee efforts to address NCDs including cancer, no mechanism for holding countries to account for their performance in NCDs and no agreement to hold a follow up High Level meeting to assess progress on NCDs.

The NCD Alliance has suggested a number of changes to the Zero Draft which you can read in the attached file. The deadline for agreeing to the language of the Outcomes Document is the end of this month (31st July) , so this will be the final Call to Action before the Summit convenes on 19th September.

What we all can do to help

First read the attached Outcomes Zero Draft Document and pick out the three or four key changes in the text that you most strongly agree with. Then, please write to your Head of Government asking them for their assurance that they will be attending this vitally important meeting (which will be only the second High Level Meeting on health in the UN’s 60 year history [the first was on HIV/AIDS in 2001]) and supporting the key changes in language that you have selected from the NCD revision document. A copy of your letter should be sent to the appropriate Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs.

This is the last push before the Summit meeting that will effectively determine the level of global involvement in cancer in developing countries for the next twenty years. It has been a long struggle and we need every single member of INCTR to help the NCD Alliance in its campaign to get Cancer and other NCDs onto the global Development Agenda.

Good luck! You have all our support.

INCTR Brussels Team

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