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Community engagement key to tackling non-communicable diseases, says Assembly President

June 25, 2014

UN News Centre – Broader community-based engagement is vital to tackling non-communicable diseases – such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – which are one of the major challenges for development in the 21st century, the President of the United Nations General Assembly stressed today.

“An African proverb says ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child, but the same can be said regarding our approach to the health challenges confronting us. It takes a village to prevent and control non-communicable disease (NCDs). Thus, broader community-based engagement is key,” stated John Ashe.

Opening the Assembly’s informal interactive hearing with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups, the private sector and academia, Mr. Ashe said that no one entity working alone can tackle the global burden and challenges of NCDs.

“The probability of dying from any of the major NCDs between the ages of 30 and 70 years ranges from 10 per cent in developed countries to 60 per cent in developing countries,” he pointed out. “This stark contrast not only suggests the depth and disparity of the problem, but is also a reminder that global solutions will require the support of all relevant stakeholders.”

Today’s meeting provides participants with the opportunity to share experiences and perspectives in the prevention and control of NCDs. It also aims put forward specific recommendations for the consideration of Member States at the comprehensive review and assessment to be held next month.

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