The EU and its Member States thank the Secretary General for the note transmitting the report of the Director-General of the World Health Organization on options for strengthening and facilitating multisectorial action for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases through effective partnership (A/67/373).
We believe that, prior to being considered at a plenary session of the GA in New York, those options should be discussed further in Geneva, in the context of the development of the WHO Global Action Plan on NCDs and where, in addition, the relevant public health expertise resides.
The Director-General’s report presents six necessary functions relating to collaboration and partnerships, but rather than analyzing these we are presented with a number of questions that have a wider scope. Furthermore, these functions seem to be based on a vertical, disease or treatment based approach. We think that more emphasis should be put on health determinants and preventive public policy measures, which can to be developed in consultation with targeted stakeholders, including civil society. We also wish to stress the need for a broader scope of research for public health interventions, policies and capacities – and not only as research and development efforts for specific products.
However, we appreciate that the report addresses the necessity for coordination. We could not agree more. We would like to see the prevention of and control of NCDs taking a more strategic, systemic global approach, driven by policies across all relevant sectors, under the leadership of and guidance of WHO and as articulated through the global action plan to be adopted at the World Health Assembly in May next year.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the WHO’s role as the directing and coordinating authority for health within the UN system. The challenges posed by NCDs are complex and multifaceted. The key is to strengthen both international and multistakeholder collaboration and to ensure a coordinated system-wide response through a “health in all policies” approach. We believe that this response should be delivered within existing structures, and we consider that WHO is uniquely placed to provide leadership on this critical challenge for global health and development.
I thank you for your attention.