UICC Board Meeting and World Cancer Leaders’ Summit

On November 16th and 17th, Dr Ian Magrath attended the UICC Board Meeting. On the 18th, Dr Magrath attended the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit meeting. This, according to the UICC website, is a high-level meeting attended by leading decision-makers which aims to influence international health policy and secure a strategic response to the global cancer epidemic. This year’s meeting was focused on attempting to quickly develop a broad-based action plan for cancer based on the outcomes of the UN High Level Summit held in September on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Discussion was extremely wide-ranging and one theme that came across was that the World Cancer Leaders will need to deal with NCDs as a whole rather than focusing on cancer alone in attempting to influence governments with respect to their health programs. Of particular importance is the need to change health services structures, since these are mostly directed towards infectious diseases and acute illnesses in the low income countries particularly. Some discussion was held regarding the mention of NCDs in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and it was felt that although some real progress had been made, it would not be until 2015 that major changes in the MDGs could be made. Considerable time was devoted to trying to determine what the Political Declaration of the UN High Level Summit on NCDs means from different perspectives, including those of Ministries of Health, UICC Member Organizations, and other civil society partners. The session in the afternoon underscored the importance of committing to concrete actions and effective interventions to reducing the global cancer burden.

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