Intended for healthcare professionals


UN meeting for non-communicable diseases

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5762
  1. Tracey Pérez Koehlmoos, programme head
  1. 1Health and Family Planning Systems Programme, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
  1. traceylynnk{at}

Long term commitment within countries is needed, with support from global development partners and strong leadership from the UN

On 19-20 September 2011, the United Nations will host a general assembly high level meeting on the control and prevention of non-communicable disease (NCD). Although the meeting will be held in New York, the eyes of developing country leaders, decision makers, civil society groups, industry, non-governmental organisations, and researchers will be focused on the event and its outcomes. Previous UN summits have provided the catalyst for change. The summit on HIV/AIDS in 2001 resulted in substantial funding and political commitments.1

The UN meeting is a crucial moment. This is especially true because it developed in the shadow of global efforts to achieve the millennium development goals, which do not include NCD. NCD is by far the largest killer on the planet and has continued to advance in low and middle income countries, so that the cause of 63% of all global deaths receives less than 3% of international development assistance for health.2 About 80% of deaths caused by NCD occur in developing countries and generally in a younger population than in high income countries.3 4 Over the next 10 years, the World Health Organization predicts that deaths from NCD will increase by 17% globally, with the greatest increases in the …

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